Swedish shipping line Thor has established its first UK base at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Hull.
The company, which operates three vessels, the Odin, the Alrek and the Frej, will use the former TransAtlantic terminal for handling 300,000 tonnes of steel and other cargoes each year.
The route, which runs through Sweden, Hull, Amsterdam and Antwerp will also pick up dolomite in the UK and Thor is confident that the addition of Antwerp will ensure the route remains viable.
Eric Hjalmarsson, Director, Thor Shipping & Transport AB, said: “We have the combination with Antwerp, which is bringing some additional business to the service.
“We’re also looking at a growing waste-for-energy market. We see a perfect balance in shipping steel to the UK and shipping waste back as a base cargo.”
One of the world’s largest facilities for burning refuse-derived fuel (RDF) has just been built close to Thor’s headquarters in Västerås, Sweden.
Mr Hjalmarsson believes a long-term deal with steel maker SSAB will also give the route added security.
“We will be successful with this because we’re a small organisation with fewer overheads,” he said. “We have a good agreement with ABP and we’ve also signed a five-year contract with SSAB for their steel, which is the longest contract they’ve ever signed.
“Hull is a very good location for the UK base as it’s very close to a big area of production.”
As well as 140,000 tonnes of steel, a large volume of which is transported to the Midlands by train straight from the quayside, Thor also handles armoured steel plate for the defence industry.
ABP Business Development Manager Humber, Gareth Russell said: “This deal will bring more investment into the Port of Hull and will secure and create jobs going forward. We’re delighted Thor has come in, and we hope to have a long and successful partnership with the company.”
Press Release, August 12, 2014