Whilst there are other Ports to choose from (namely) FelixstoweHullTilburySouthampton, and Liverpool – the popularity of Teesport is heightening. Teesport now receives over 5,000 vessels each year and around 40 million tonnes of cargo. The Port has also recently been awarded Terminal Operator of the Year by Finnish shipping and logistics group – Containerships.

So, what are the attributing factors increasingly making Teesport a more attractive proposition over its rivals? Located less than a mile from the mouth of the River Tees, this deep-water facility with natural marine opening provides lock-free access to the North Sea. Not only this, but the immediate area is also well served by a comprehensive road network with direct access to the A66 Trans-pennine East and West routes and A19/A1 M1 national motorway links for North and South.

Previously, reliability could have been cited as a concern (when the Port facilitated fewer shipments) but it’s a far cry from that today – with Containerships stating the high service levels at Teesport as a significant factor in them winning this recent award.

This is off the back of huge investment by PD Ports at Teesport (over £1billion of investment has been attracted and secured both by PD Ports and third parties over the last 10 years) and in 2017 a third ship to shore crane was added.

This increased investment also means that accessibility for hauliers collecting their containers and getting back on the road is that much easier. Whilst traffic through the Port has increased dramatically, it is still not at a comparable level to Felixstowe, for example – so naturally the queues are not comparable either. What is even better for us is that our warehousing and logistics hub here at InBond is under 10 miles from Teesport and, given our Bonded Warehousing – this short drive is proving to be a well-trodden path for imported goods.

What’s more, surely if products are eventually ending up in the Midlands (and further north) then avoiding the south altogether has a positive impact on congestion and therefore the environment – not to mention the operational efficiency benefits.

In addition to this, if these goods-in require storage and handling prior to distribution to the UK market it’s a little-known secret that there are wider benefits to using a warehousing and logistics company in the North East of England. The predominant factor is the positive impact on bottom line – with warehousing rates cheaper than those in the South of England. However, with no good decision based on price alone, it might be a surprise to learn that we view our service as comparable, if not better than the main players in the South.

Based within the Northshore development area of Stockton on Tees, here at InBond we pride ourselves in delivering the very best service possible – with flexibility at the heart of everything that we do. Whilst we have the capacity to service some very well-known organisations and institutions for their warehousing and logistics requirements, we are not so large that we cannot adapt quickly to help alleviate clients’ logistics issues.

It is this approach to customer service that has won us a number of high-profile contracts in recent years – many of which with companies choosing to bring goods in via Teesport. Another advantage, of course, for using our warehousing facility is that we have obtained HMRC approval to operate a Bonded Warehouse, allowing our clients to defer duties until these goods leave our care (often once sold). One of only a few Bonded Warehouses in the North of England, we are ideally located to store a range of goods imported via Teesport with current bonded products comprising of: alcohol, bathroom equipment and electricals (to name but a few).

Although we already operate our bonded warehouse, the idea (much publicised in the media) that Teesport could become a ‘Freeport’ is something that we are hugely behind. What this could do for the Tees Valley region is quite revolutionary.  In this instance, a larger free trade area would be created allowing for these imported goods to be manufactured and stored within the periphery of Teesport – presumably a highly enticing proposition for manufacturers from throughout the world when also considering our manufacturing heritage and as a result, highly skilled workforce.

It will be interesting to see if Teesport manages to gain the backing to become the UK’s first ‘Freeport’ but one thing is clear – Teesport’s popularity is only set to continue.