The £100M agreement will see us operate the new terminal for the next 50 years. It is a major long-term commitment and boost for the region, where freight on routes to and from the EU has been booming since Brexit.
We operates on 18 routes, with 37 vessels between 13 countries across Northern Europe. Currently we run four daily freight services from the Humber to The Netherlands. These important services are now in greater demand than ever before and are expected to increase further. In 2021 we saw North Sea routes moving record levels of freight, this included a 28% year-on-year increase in unaccompanied freight.
At the start of the year we relocated our Rotterdam freight service to the Port of Immingham, the largest port in the UK by tonnage, which is owned by ABP. The move has allowed us to become the provider of both the terminal and shipping operations, which has resulted in improved benefits and expanded services to our significant freight customers in the region.
With freight levels continuing to grow we need to add capacity and expand our operations at Immingham. It requires a long-term solution that has access to the main Humber Estuary. This would allow for quicker sailing times and the option to use larger vessels to cater for increased freight demand from exporters and importers from across the region and the rest of the UK.
The proposals outline the relocation of our current Immingham freight operations to a new site, adjacent to Immingham Outer Harbour, where ABP will develop a new purpose built terminal facility. The proposals will allow us to further expand our services by providing increased freight capacity for our customers. It is a significant infrastructure development for the region.
These are the next steps in the strategic vision for our routes between the UK and Continental Europe. Our freight levels are at record levels and are continuing to increase, so we want to build on this success and provide additional services to our most important business needs, those of our customers, with the development of a brand new terminal and berths at the Port of Immingham. We are pledging a significant long-term commitment that will bring a substantial boost to the region’s economy in terms of jobs and revenue. We look forward to working with Associated British Ports to develop this exciting project.
ABP intends to submit an application for a Development Consent Order to the Secretary of State for Transport in early summer with a view to the new terminal facilities being operational in 2025.