Associated British Ports owns and operates the Port of Hull and 20 other ports in the United Kingdom. The Transport Act of 1962 created the British Transport Docks Board which was reconstituted and incorporated in 1983 as Associated British Ports. In 2006, a consortium of investors acquired ABP and de-listed it from the London Stock Exchange. ABP Acquisitions Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ABP Jersey Ltd.
The Port of Hull is one of the most important foreign trade ports in the UK. It operates short-sea services to Europe, the Baltic states, and Scandinavia, and it maintains trade relations with worldwide shipping lines. It is the country’s main softwood timber port, handling over 1.5 million cubic meters of timber and other forest products each year. The Port of Hull is the Humber’s only passenger port, and almost a million passengers arrive and depart from there every year. P&O Ferries operates super-cruise ferries of the Hull-Rotterdam crossing from the Rotterdam Terminal.
Located at the Queen Elizabeth Dock, the Port of Hull Container Terminal handles about 260 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo a year at its 300-meter long quay that can accommodate three vessels at the same time. Offering more than 7.5 hectares of storage, the 17-acre terminal can handle all types of container cargo including refrigerated and hazardous goods.
The Port of Hull handles a wide range of dry bulk cargoes. The Kingston Terminal at the Queen Elizabeth Dock handles coal, petroleum coke, and mineral bulks and offers more than 17 hectares of storage linked via covered conveyor to the quays. The dock also handles shipments of scrap metal exports and imports of aggregates. Sand, gravel, and aggregates are handled at the terminals at the Alexandria Dock and Albert Dock. The Alexandria Dock also handles dry bulk cargoes like grains and animal feeds and imports of bulk soda ash used to make glass.
The bulk terminal at the King George Dock handles animal feed and other dry bulk and can accommodate vessels up to 30 thousand DWT. The King George Dock also contains a specialist silo facility with capacity for storing 60 thousand tons of export grains like barley and wheat. The dock also has a dry bulks terminal specialized in biomass and agribulk products. Covered storage with capacity for 40 thousand tons is available for agribulks. The Port of Hull also has dedicated storage facilities for bagged and bulk cocoa supplying Cadbury and Nestle production.
Being the UK’s biggest softwood timber port, the Port of Hull is on the major trade routes from Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and the Baltic states. Opened in 2000, the Finland Terminal has over 70 thousand square meters of covered storage for Finnish pulp, paper, and panel products as well as services like sawmills and timber-treatment facilities. The Port of Hull also receives a range of forest products like plywood, fiberboard, veneers, and chipboard.
The Port of Hull also has extensive facilities for fresh and frozen goods. The Port’s traditional involvement in fishing and fish processing was given a boost when the Fishgate fish auction market, a high-tech handling facility, was recently opened at the Albert & William Wright Docks. ABP operates a 24 thousand cubic meter cold storage facility at King George Dock with capacity for nine thousand pallets and blast-freezing facilities. Another operator offers 56 thousand cubic meters of cold storage with capacity for more than a thousand pallets per day. The Port of Hull is a sale point for fresh fish caught by local trawlers and frozen and fresh produce from across the UK. Freezer trawlers can land their catches into cold storage from the quays. In addition to fish, the Port of Hull handles a variety of commodities like meat and vegetable imports.
The Port of Hull is one of England’s best East Coast ports for general cargo including forest products, project cargoes, steel, and liquid bulk. The port offers more than 230 thousand square meters of covered storage in 40 transit sheds and 65 hectares of open storage.
Handling liquid bulks is a growing role for the Port of Hull, with imports of more than 500 thousand tons of edible oils serving the AarhusKarlshamn refinery that produces cooking and specialist oils and ice-cream fats that it exports to more than 30 countries. Other liquid bulks include petroleum products and chemicals and molasses. The BP chemical plant at Saltend is one of the biggest acetic acid producers in Europe.
The Port of Hull’s facilities for roll-on/roll-off cargoes have grown recently, and ro-ro traffic makes up the biggest share of the Port’s annual throughput. The port offers 12 roll-on/roll-off berths, including the Rotterdam Terminal facility for cruise-ferries.
The Port of Hull also contains an all-weather Steel Terminal that can accommodate ships to 13.5 meters air draught. Open 24 hours a day, the terminal has 10 thousand square meters of covered storage and open storage for non-weather-sensitive steel products.
The Port of Hull has the only passenger service for the Humber Estuary. Almost a million passengers use the daily Rotterdam-Zeebrugge super-cruise passenger ferries, and the Port is becoming more popular with cruise vessels carrying passengers who want to visit Yorkshire.
The Port of Hull’s Saltend Jetties are each 214 meters long with alongside depth of 10.4 meters and can accommodate vessels to 40 thousand DWT. The King George and Queen Elizabeth Docks are each 199 meters long with alongside depth of 10.4 meters and can accommodate vessels to 34 thousand DWT. The River Terminal 1 Dock is 215 meters long with alongside depth of 6.5 meters and can accommodate vessels to 12 thousand DWT. The Alexandria Dock is 153 meters long with alongside depth of 7.9 meters and can accommodate vessels to nine thousand DWT, and the Alexandria Dock extension is 122 meters long with alongside depth of 7.9 meters and can accommodate vessels to six thousand DWT. The Albert & William Wright Dock is 122 meters long with alongside depth of 7 meters and can accommodate vessels to five thousand DWT.