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UK logistics firm expands Asia links

Hong Kong: New company Global Transport Logistics (Asia) has been set up here as latest overseas arm of UK company Global Transport Logistics (GTL) based at Teesport in Northeast England. This follows GTL's opening of A 100,000 sq ft warehousing facility in Shenzhen, second busiest port in mainland China.

GTL Asia will provide a range of freight, customs and logistics services and work with shipping lines, suppliers and GTL's UK operation to deliver freight to Teesside. Asia already accounts for 85% of the company's business.

The Hong Kong venture "will give us total control over the supply chain," says GTL md Gary Smith. "Previously, we've had to use agents who managed the initial stages of the supply chain. With three full-time staff we can save on agents' fees, which accounted for up to 50% of our margins, and re-invest the money in our Hong Kong facility."

Smith believes PD Ports' £300m deep-sea terminal, due to open in 2011/12, which will allow goods to be shipped directly to the region rather than via Rotterdam or Antwerp, will be an attractive prospect for Asia-based firms looking for speedy distribution of products to the North of England and Scotland. He has backed PD Ports' group development director Martyn Pellew's recent call for a multi-million pound upgrade of the East Coast railway line to facilitate its growth.

"It makes sense to remove more vehicles from the road by transporting freight by rail," says Smith. "Teesport has become a major attraction for companies in Asia. They don't have to ship goods to congested ports in the south, such as Felixtowe and Southampton, and then incur great expense by trucking them up North."  [14/08/08]

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