A shipment of steel has now arrived at the Teesside Freeport, marking the first activity of a Freeport anywhere in the UK.
Around 100 tonnes of steel were delivered to the South Bank area of Teesworks, which has been designated as a customs zone as part of the region’s Freeport – the biggest and first operational.
Freeport partners worked with local shipping and trading company Blackwood Biofuels & Logistics to deliver the cargo. The containers arrived through PD Teesport with local logistics firm AV Dawson, which also operates the Port of Middlesbrough, providing transport and manning while British Steel contributed plant and support vehicles to handle the shipment.
The first UK Customs Site Operator, Casper Shipping Ltd, has received the cargo into the site, which was bound for local manufacturing companies.
The 4,500-acre Teesside Freeport covers sites across the entire Tees Valley including Teesworks, Teesside International Airport, PD Teesport, Wilton International, Port of Middlesbrough, the Port of Hartlepool, Able Seaton Port and LV Shipping.
The sites can offer businesses tax and customs incentives including reducing red tape or providing relief from duties and import taxes. The Freeport is expected to create 18,000 jobs and drive billions into the local economy in its first five years.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Whether it’s pioneering the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of tomorrow, ground-breaking trials or innovative initiatives, Teesside is leading the way – and this is yet another UK first as we become the first area to accept goods through our Freeport.
“The Teesside Freeport has already proved to be a huge draw for international businesses, with the likes of SeAH Wind choosing to do business here because of it. Now it’s up and running we’re welcoming goods and seeing the benefit our Freeport will also have on our local firms that are making use of it.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg as we continue to promote the opportunities of our Freeport to bring even more international investment which will, in turn, create the thousands of good-quality, well paid jobs that our local people want to see.”
Liam McIvor, Director of Shipping at Blackwood Biofuels, said: “The Teesside Freeport provided a unique solution when handling this import and to see local partners working together to provide a seamless service makes it all the more satisfying.”