Geest Line vessel arrives at the Port of Dover
Workers at the Port of Dover were delighted to welcome the first Geest Line vessel into port this week, marking the start of a new long-term partnership with the Europe-to-Caribbean freight firm
The 14,000-ton Baltic Klipper is the first of a newly strengthened fleet of five Geest Line ships to discharge its eastbound fruit cargo in Kent following loading in Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
The call follows a relocation of the firm’s south of England cargo handling from Portsmouth, prompted by the need to accommodate a revised rotation schedule and more shipping capacity.
Geest Line initially joins other commercial shipping lines operating from Dover’s eastern docks cargo terminal.
Operations will move to new, state-of-the-art specialist handling facilities at the western docks once a major development project is completed in 2019.
Captain Peter Dixon, managing director of Geest Line, who was dockside when the Baltic Klipper came in, said: “The arrival of our first vessel is truly the start of a new era of imports and exports for UK and European trade through Dover.
“As well as being able to handle our requirements immediately, Dover offers the prospect of further growth through its exciting port development on the western docks.
“This potential makes Dover an ideal partner for Geest Line operations.”
Geest Line’s move has provided a welcome boost to the Port of Dover, which already supports 22,000 jobs, many of them in east Kent.
Barbara Buczek, the port’s director of corporate development and operational business, said: “Geest Line’s fleet expansion and increased capacity have inevitably changed the necessary logistics for their transatlantic sailings, inter-island stops in the Caribbean and European calls.
“We’re delighted that the Port of Dover is their choice for cargo operations in the south of England.
“We look forward to a long, positive relationship with Geest Line as we grow our cargo facilities with Dover Western Docks Revival providing ongoing employment stability and significant future job creation opportunities as well as facilitating a prosperous outlook for the economy.”
Headquartered in Fareham, Geest Line handles all kinds of general cargo from tiny perishables to large project machinery, returning from the Caribbean with fruit, mainly bananas, for markets in the UK and across Europe.