May 9 - UK shipping agent and specialist logistics company, The Armitt Group, has signed a long term agreement to build a 120,000 sq ft (11,148 sq m) multimodal terminal at London Thamesport with the port's owners Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group.

Construction of the site and warehouse is due to start now with shipments beginning later this year. Armitt Multimodal Terminal South, as it will be known, is the first in a three-stage investment by the Armitt Group to develop similar facilities in the Midlands and North of the UK within the next three years.

Nicholas Marshall, commercial director at Armitt, said: "What we are bringing to Thamesport, through this agreement, is our expertise in breakbulk handling.

"We also see the deal as a great opportunity to open up a new supply chain corridor to service European and Far Eastern markets, and it is a crucial link in our plans to develop a fully integrated supply chain across the UK. The investment also ensures we have access to an excellent deepwater, rail-connected and uncongested facility that is important to the needs of our clients," he added.

Armitt is confident that in time, it can move up to two million tonnes of high quality steel products through its warehouse per year, by attracting up to 50 deep sea handy size vessels and up to 100 short sea port calls a year to the facility.

Apart from providing professional logistics services to the steel industry, Liverpool-based Armitt Group also provides shipbroking, chartering and vessel agency services nationwide.

The company is also involved with heavy and out-of-gauge shipments having chartered a Hansa Heavy Lift ship that loaded some 300-tonne generators out of London Thamesport and is currently working on two 800-tonne crane demolition projects.