Expanding marine business launches East Anglian base

Aberdeen ships agency Ffolkes Offshore has expanded into Lowestoft

Andy Surplice who heads up the Ffolkes Offshore Lowestoft team - Credit: Ffolkes Offshore

A ships agency has set up a new base in Suffolk.

Marine support business Ffolkes Offshore has expanded into Lowestoft, where it has launched a services hub for the East Anglian coastal region.

The facility — based at Lowestoft Enterprise Park — will support customers across the ports of Felixstowe, Great Yarmouth and Harwich.

The Aberdeen-based outfit has created an initial three-strong team headed up by experienced marine services professional Andy Surplice, who will be operations manager for the new branch. 

The team’s core focus will be to expand the company’s growing maritime and offshore energy business.

Founder and managing director Ben Sutherland said: “Lowestoft has been a key port to the offshore industry since the 1960s and has emerged as a centre of excellence for companies supporting the maritime, energy and renewable sectors so choosing this as our location to grow our business off the east coast made a lot of sense.

“We are delighted to welcome Andy Surplice to lead the team as regional operations manager at our new hub in Lowestoft.

“He brings over two decades of local shipping and logistics expertise.

"This, combined with our new facility, ensures we can deliver the best value and service in this area while bolstering our UK coverage.”

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Mr Surplice — who has spent nearly 30 years in the offshore oil and gas, wind farm and conventional cargo sector —  said he was looking forward to expanding the business.

“I have prided myself on developing good relationships with clients, their vessels, crew and suppliers that ensures smooth and effective working practices in the offshore environment,” he said.

“My new role at Ffolkes Offshore offers me a sea of opportunity in which to grow the business and deliver innovative solutions in a growing industry focused on reducing port costs.”

The company — which was started in 2016 — now employs 16 staff.

It says it has enjoyed strong growth in 2020 — despite the coronavirus pandemic and has created six jobs across its sites in Aberdeen, Montrose, Peterhead and Lerwick. 

It expects to see its workforce expand further in 2021, including opportunities for trainee posts across its sites.