Published on Sunday, 22nd April 2018

 

MMD, the council-owned company that handles containers and pallets of imported soft fruit, has landed a contract to also handle the export of wind turbine blades. The 10-year deal with Vestas will safeguard jobs at the facility and marks an important milestone in the battle to make the business sustainable.

 

While MMD has reported a loss most years since the council acquired it a decade ago, the extra trade it brings to the port has generally more than offsets the deficit, meaning that the overall financial position is better having it than not having it. However, the council administration wants it to do better and is making changes to improve the position further.

 

The shift towards importing fruit in containers is gathering speed and that is a less labour-intensive business than unloading pallets. The council invested millions the other year removing the Floating Dock Jetty - a leftover from the Navy that limited the size of vessels that could land at the commercial port – primarily to accommodate larger, containerised ships. MMD was always going to have to change, but happily, as the Vestas contract indicates that will not necessarily involve scaling back the business.

 

Tags: Port