Shipping company expands again

AN international shipping company has staged a ceremony to launch building work a £4.7million state-of-the-art office building at its Ipswich headquarters.

AN international shipping company has staged a ceremony to launch building work a £4.7million state-of-the-art office building at its Ipswich headquarters.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (UK) Ltd is extending its UK head office at Ransomes Europark with a new three storey building next door.

The company employs about 520 people across the UK, including about 350 in the Ipswich area, and the new accommodation will allow it to bring together the local office workforce on to one site.

The mainly glass building, due for completion in October this year, is designed to be ecologically-friendly using the latest materials and techniques, including a wind turbine to keep its carbon footprint low.


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The internal framework has been built and work has now begun on the external brick and glass cladding.

Contractors employed on the site are Suffolk-based, the company points out, bringing benefits to the local economy.

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The shipping line, originally known as the Medite Shipping Company, was formed in 1977 by Roy Davies in Hull and later came to Felixstowe, then Ipswich in 1996.

Company chairman David Petchey said this important commitment to Suffolk would ensure the world's second-largest container shipping line, now based in Geneva, will run its UK operations from Ipswich, controlling satellite offices in London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Tilbury, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham.

“We are crammed in like sardines,” he said of the current Ipswich base.

“At the moment we have got around about 350 people in the Ipswich area, but they are not all in the building because we have not got room in this building.”

The new building would make everything comfortable, and the firm would “continue to employ more people in the area to cope with expected growth in trade”, he said.

“In the last 12 years, growth has continued hence the new office expansion which will allow us to consolidate all our local office-based requirements on one site and give us capacity for expected future needs,” he said.

The building works were “bang on schedule”, he added.

“There are no delays. We are happy with the contractors, so there's no reason to think we won't complete by the end of October,” he said.

Cross-trades clerk at the company, Jo Fox, laid the first brick in the presence of the board and contractor representatives after her name was drawn from a hat.

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