Dry Bulk Handling - Southampton

Solent Stevedores provide the first choice for one-off and regular shipments of dry bulk cargo to and from the UK.

Solent Stevedores has a long-term concession to operate the dry bulks terminal at the ABP Port of Southampton. Based alongside deep water in the Western Docks, the 24-acre dry bulks terminal operates in a key strategic position close to international shipping lanes.

Located within a short distance of the UK motorway network and immediately adjacent to the Bulk Terminal rail transfer facility, we enjoy excellent road and rail links to the rest of the UK.

Dry Bulk Cargo Handling - Southampton

The terminal is equipped with 4 quayside cranes operating from 1,300m of deep water quays.

Offering a mixture of covered and open storage the terminal specialises in the handling of grains, animal feed, fertilizer, recycled metal, glass, wood chips, salt and minerals.


every year, Solent Stevedores loads in excess of 200,000 tonnes of cargo to rail

since 2010 Solent Stevedores has invested 1.96m to equipment and facilities

Commodities Handled

Animal feed cargo handling - port of southampton

Animal Feed

Regular shipments of animal feedstuffs, often in panamax size vessels are discharged by crane and conveyor to adjacent quayside storage.

Solent Stevedores handles in excess of 100,000 tonnes of animal feed per annum, imported through facilities at 108 Berth in the Western Docks.

Consignments range from small Coaster loads of 2,000-3,000 tonnes, up to Large Bulker cargoes in excess of 15,000 tonnes, discharged by crane and conveyor direct from ships hold to adjacent warehouses.

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Fertiliser cargo handling


Fertiliser imports are directly discharged from ships hold and transferred to a specially approved warehouse prior to bagging.

In May 1995 ABP (owners of the Port of Southampton) opened a purpose built 10,000 m2 terminal to facilitate the storage and bagging of fertilisers destined for the UK farming industry.

Solent Stevedores is responsible for moving around 100,000 tonnes of fertiliser per annum from ship to shore primarily by quay cranes feeding a dedicated overhead conveyor.


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Grain handling - port of southampton


Solent Stevedores provide receipt, storage and load out services for a variety of products destined for export markets.

Grain cargo handled at the Southampton Bulk Terminal has increased in recent years. The majority of cargo, including grain for milling, brewing and feedstock, is locally grown and destined for export. Grain is loaded aboard vessel by a combination of mobile conveyor and/or quayside crane.

An 8,000 sq metre TASCC approved storage facility is provided alongside 105 Berth, to accommodate storage of export cargoes prior to shipment.


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Solent Stevedores provide discharge, storage and re-loading of Gypsum to specialised rail wagons at adjacent rail head.

Imports of gypsum rock have been a regular and high volume trade handled by Solent Stevedores in recent years. After discharging cargo from the ships hold to quayside storage, Solent Stevedores reload the product direct to railway wagons positioned on the adjacent bulk terminal railhead for distribution across the UK.


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glass cargo handling


Solent Stevedores provide load out services for regular consignments of bottle bank glass for subsequent reprocessing into new glass products.

Solent Stevedores is responsible for the handling of crushed glass on behalf of Recresco. Household glass from Hampshire and surrounding areas is delivered into Recresco's dedicated facility where it is crushed.

Solent Stevedores staff load the processed material on to vessel for transportation to manufacturing plants in the UK and mainland Europe to be recycled into new glass products.


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recycled metal handling

Recycled Metal

Solent Stevedores provide receipt, storage and round the clock load out of large quantities of recycled metals to a variety of export markets.

A significant addition to the range of cargoes handled through the Southampton Bulk Terminal has been the introduction of recycled metal for export to foreign markets.

Already well established in Liverpool, S J Norton and Co was looking to expand activity on the south coast and, with the advantage of deep water quays able to accommodate Panamax size vessels, the Port of Southampton was the natural choice.

As part of a long term deal a substantial amount of quay upgrade work was undertaken to comply with UK and European legislation and three new high capacity cranes have also been purchased.

Solent Stevedores was contracted to supply specialist staff and equipment to load shipments of up to 50,000 tonnes, on a round the clock basis to ensure speedy despatch, as required by the customer.


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salt cargo handling


Recent Winters have increased the requirement for salt in the UK, resulting in imports to supplement the UK's domestic supply. Solent Stevedores has worked closely with importers to ensure the nation's roads are kept clear when temperatures plummet.

After a run of relatively mild winters, the harsh weather experienced during 2009 and 2010 placed an unexpected burden on the UK's domestic salt mines. In order to keep the country's road network running a significant amount of salt was imported from around the world.

In recent years, more than 250,000 tonnes of salt has been imported through the Port of Southampton, often in large shipments, which Solent Stevedores discharge from vessels on a round-the-clock basis.

Salt cargoes are stored at the Port of Southampton ready for delivery (by road and rail) throughout the country to national and local government agencies and commercial concerns when temperatures fall below zero.


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Solent Stevedores provide LoLo services for all types of cargo including palletised soil - discharging it from quayside vessels and reloading it to road transport.

Amongst the various cargoes Solent Stevedores has been asked to handle in recent times, one of the most interesting and challenging involved a consignment of bagged soil. Handling this cargo harked back to the less mechanised days of stevedoring.

Drawing on the experience of the Solent Stevedores Cargo Supervisors, along with the expertise and enthusiasm of supporting staff including crane drivers, hatchway men and machine drivers, the cargo was discharged and re-loaded to road transport within the planned time frame.

As the cargo required specialist banding onto pallets a neighbouring logistics company Pentalver Transport, was subcontracted and worked closely with Solent Stevedores staff to successfully complete the task.

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Wood Products

Recent investment in upgraded quayside facilities has seen an increased throughput of wood chip and wood pellets for export into the mainland European energy market.

Wood Pellets

Solent Stevedores work with Verdo Renewables Ltd to export consignments of premium wood pellets to mainland Europe for use in biomass heating systems, such as boilers and stoves. The premium wood pellets are transported from Verdo's new 15m fuel production plant in Andover to the Southampton bulks terminal where it is loaded onboard ship by Solent's high capacity cranes.

Wood Chip

Solent Stevedores work closely with Eco Sustainable Solutions to receive and load out regular shipments of processed wood emanating from County Councils, Local Authorities and commercial sources in and around the south coast region.

Historically wood chip would have been sent to landfill but is now exported to Scandinavia and used in Biomass energy generating plants thereby adding to the UK's export income.

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Feedback from our Dry Bulk customersView all Testimonials


"I would like to put on record my appreciation for a job very well done."

American Iron and Metal LP

Dear Mr Jacobs

Subject: Loading MV Bulk Juliana

"You have just completed loading MV Bulk Juliana with steel recycled metal at Southampton. I would like to put on record my appreciation for a job very well done.

In particular, I would like to congratulate you and your colleagues on their ability to load over 40,000 mt of cut grade recycled metal without any "stevedore damage" being reported by the vessel. This for me is an absolute first.

As the Charterer of the vessel this has made my life far less complicated than it could have been.

Thank you."

"The team at Southampton continue to work in a very flexible and safe manner to maintain the exacting needs of our business, and we classify them as a key partner in the ongoing success of our business..."

British Gypsum

“British Gypsum and Solent Stevedores has enjoyed a long standing and successful relationship in the Port of Southampton.

Throughout this period, and the ebbs and flows of our business, Solent Stevedores has continued to provide a reliable and cost effective service to ensure our cargoes are discharged from vessel and loaded to rail in a timely manner to supply our Robertsbridge operation.

The team at Southampton continue to work in a very flexible and safe manner to maintain the exacting needs of our business, and we classify them as a key partner in the ongoing success of our business.

We look forward to continuing this mutually beneficial relationship into the future”.

"With a highly dedicated team of professionals, who are fast to respond, and who diligently plan and review their operational activities, I have real confidence in the support they give."

S J Norton & Sons Ltd

"S J Norton and Solent Stevedores have nurtured an extremely close working relationship over the last 5 years. Throughout this period, we have seen improved working practices and cargo handling solutions resulting in Solent Stevedores exceeding our expectations in the services they provide.

With a highly dedicated team of professionals, who are fast to respond, and who diligently plan and review their operational activities, I have real confidence in the support they give.

Solent Stevedores has also developed the skill sets of their staff to cater for the growing needs of our business, not only in a Stevedoring sense but also when dealing with both Health & Safety and Environmental requirements, and their proactive approach has been very refreshing.

This relationship has allowed our Southampton operation to develop at a faster rate than we originally anticipated, and we look forward to developing our relationship further."

"may I pass on our thanks to all those involved"

GAC Agencies

"On behalf of ourselves, the cargo owners and those on board the vessel, may I pass on our thanks to all those involved in the receiving and loading of cargo to the 'Eldborg' last week. There were quite a few changes to the amount and type of cargo to be handled but, despite this, there was an excellent response from all of the Solent Stevedores team and we actually finished the ship ahead of schedule.

Well done to all concerned!"

"We have a very good relationship with Solent Stevedores, one which we hope to develop as more opportunities arise."

Verdo Renewables Ltd

“Being close to the Port of Southampton is a great advantage for us, especially as there is a specialist bulk handler on hand to receive and load our product. We have a very good relationship with Solent Stevedores, one which we hope to develop as more opportunities arise.”

Gallery - Cargo Handling