Gleadell Agriculture has marked the millionth tonne of grain to be exported through its deep water terminal at Peel Ports, Great Yarmouth this week. It says the milestone underlines the role of the facility – the most easterly deep water port in the UK - as a strategic outlet for grain grown on East Anglian farms.
The millionth tonne came from grower Matthew Baker of David Baker Farms near Bungay in Suffolk. It is part of a 27,000 tonne cargo of feed wheat loaded onto the MV Resko for export to Spain.
In 2010, Gleadell invested £5 million to enable larger vessels to use the Outer Harbour at Great Yarmouth, including a new shiploader, grain store, offices, laboratory and weighbridges. Before this, Immingham and Tilbury were the nearest east coast options in regular use for larger boats. Since then, the company has shipped cargoes of wheat, barley, oilseed rape and pulses to destinations across Europe and North Africa.
“Peel Ports Great Yarmouth is one of only seven or eight English ports capable of loading vessels over 13,000t in a grain surplus area,” notes Gleadell grain trader Paul Dowson, who is based at the company’s Swaffham office in Norfolk. “The development enables us to load larger vessels from the region, opening up a wider spread of markets and helping to ship the UK’s exportable surplus. The port directly benefits the region’s farmers as it reduces haulage distances from farm to a deep water port.
Reaching the million tonne mark is a major achievement, says Mr Dowson. “The facility has only seen three ‘normal’ export years in the six years since it opened - commissioning took place in 2010/11, followed by two problematic UK crop years in 2012/13 and 2013/14 when small crops saw the UK becoming a net importer.
“This current season represents our biggest volume to date from Great Yarmouth, with over 250,000t having been exported,” he added. “The value to farmers is demonstrated by the large growth in the tonnage committed to the facility via the Great Yarmouth Growers Club, which offers specific storage and market benefits to farmer members.”
“Gleadell was one of the first users of the Outer Harbour since its opening six years ago,” notes Peel Ports Great Yarmouth port director Richard Goffin. “It recognised the advantages of consolidating volume at the most easterly deep-water port in the UK capable of handling its vessel sizes.
“This strategic decision to partner with the Port of Great Yarmouth continues to play a significant part in contributing to the growth of the UK economy, the region of East Anglian and the local community.”