Associated British Ports (ABP) the UK’s largest and best-connected port operator, has commissioned five new state-of-the-art pilot boats from UK family-owned company Goodchild Marine Services, which will help enhance port operations on the Humber.
The five vessels, which represent an investment of £5.2 million on the Humber, will be part of a fleet of nine faster and more fuel-efficient pilot boats commissioned by ABP. Together the nine pilot boats cost around £9 million and will be constructed by the Norfolk-based boat builder, Goodchild Marine Services. They are expected to be delivered over the course of the next five years.
Construction of the first Humber boat has already begun, with the rest scheduled to be built in the period 2022-2024. In total, ABP has commissioned nine vessels - five to serve its Humber ports, three for Southampton and one for South Wales.
Simon Bird, ABP Humber Regional Director, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to award this significant contract to a UK family-owned boat builder and we very much look forward to receiving delivery of the new fuel-efficient boats.
“The Humber is the UK’s busiest trading estuary and this addition to our fleet will help us continue to provide the highest standard of service to ABP customers.”
ABP and Goodchild Marine Services have had a long history of productive collaboration. In July 2019, Goodchild Marine delivered its second pilot boat to ABP, the ‘Kingfisher’, which has been supporting operations at the Port of Lowestoft. This followed the delivery of their first pilot boat for ABP, the ‘Osprey’, more than 25 years ago.
Stephen Pierce, General Manager at Goodchild Marine Services Limited, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract with one of the UK’s leading port operators. Associated British Ports have demonstrated commitment to the quality of British manufacturing and our supply chain for their next generation of pilot vessels.”