Associated British Ports hails record year for the Port of Ipswich

The Dijksgracht, the largest vessel ever to call at the Port of Ipswich, passing under the Orwell Br

The Dijksgracht, the largest vessel ever to call at the Port of Ipswich, passing under the Orwell Bridge. - Credit: Archant

The Port of Ipswich has hailed a record 2016, with the tonnage of ships calling at the port increasing by 13% year-on-year.

Parent group Associated British Ports (ABP) said a total of 743 ships called at the port last year, an increase of 8% compared with 2015 and representing capacity of 2.6m gross tonnes.

This figure reflected the use of larger ships which included the biggest ever vessel to call at the port – the 156.93metre Dijksgracht which arrived in December with a shipment of 10,500 tonnes of rice from Texas for the Ipswich Grain Terminal.

ABP has invested more than £5.4m over the past year in new facilities at Ipswich, which is the UK’s leading export port for agricultural products. This includes a new bulk store, due for completion in April.

ABP short sea ports director Andrew Harston said: “Our 2016 figures are yet another positive indicator of the importance of the Port of Ipswich to the broader East Anglian economy.

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“An 8% increase in ship calls is a testament to the efforts of our staff and customers who are striving to continually grow their businesses. We are now looking forward to improving this result again in 2017.”

Volumes at the Port of Ipswich has been growing year-on-year since 2013. It is one of three ports operated by ABP in East Anglia, together with Lowestoft and King’s Lynn.

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The group says that, together, the three ports and their customers contribute £340m to the economy every year, supporting 3,577 jobs in the region and 5,000 nationally.

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