New shipping service reducing the number of HGVs on Scotland’s trunk roads

The Minister was speaking as he visited Boyd Brother’s premises to see at first-hand how they are putting their £959,773 Waterborne Freight Grant to use.

Mr Mackay said:

“The new Boyd Brothers shipping service is an excellent example of how the Scottish Government can work in partnership with the private sector to deliver more sustainable freight transport options through modal shift.

It is also very pleasing to see a close partnership approach between a freight operator and its customer, in this case BSW Timber, aimed at achieving greener transport solutions.

“Reducing lorry traffic on the A82 is good for the environment but also for users of the road whether they live in the area or are visiting this spectacular part of Scotland on their holidays.

“I welcome this great opportunity to visit such a thriving port which handles significant volumes of timber and timber products by sea much of which, without freight grant support, would have been transported by road.”

Transport Scotland’s freight grant schemes have enabled the removal of nearly 200 million lorry miles from Scotland's roads. The funding will reduce the number of HGVs travelling on key routes in Scotland such as the A82 and M74 by transporting the timber by sea. Over 6,300 HGV journeys will be removed from these roads during the first three years of operation.

The new service was launched in September last year as a direct result of the Scottish Government funding and will transport sawn-timber produced at BSW’s recently opened sawmill at Corpach to Tilbury in the south-east of England.

Tony Hackney, Chief Executive of BSW Timber, said:

“The new shipping service has allowed us to significantly expand our logistics operation in southern England, linked to our new Essex-based southern distribution centre which opened in 2014. It is helping us feed the demand for the high-quality home-grown Scottish timber produced by our Fort William mill, driven by the upturn in the construction sector in London and the south east.”

Callum Boyd, Director of Boyd Brothers, added:

“We are delighted to be able to offer the sea freight service to BSW Timber. The vessel we are using will bring grain up from England to be used in Scottish distilleries and is a good fit to take timber back south to Tilbury. The Waterborne Freight Grant is providing vital funding support in the first three years, until we can build up to more cost effective volumes in the future”

Transporting goods by road is often the most cost-effective way for companies however the Waterborne Freight Grant enables goods to be transported by water instead of road without the companies involved being out of pocket.

Notes to editors

Where new rail or water freight services remove lorry journeys from roads in England as well as Scotland the Scottish and UK Governments have the necessary powers to share the cost of funding of freight mode-shift grant awards. In this case the Department for Transport has agreed to contribute £262,298 towards the total grant award of £959,773.

The aim of the Waterborne Freight Grant scheme is to provide financial support to new shipping services which result in the removal of freight from our roads, where road haulage is the cheaper option.

The start-up grant is being paid in arrears to Boyd Brothers for this service over a three year period.

It is projected that 25,000 tonnes will be transported by sea in year one increasing to 50,000 tonnes by year 3. This will remove 6,336 HGV journeys from the roads between Corpach and the London area, including the A82 south of Fort William and the M74, during the first 3 years of operation.

BSW Timber in the UK / Europe

    • BSW Timber is the most technologically advanced and progressive sawmilling company in the UK. The company is now a modern manufacturing business continuing to drive sustainable growth through this ongoing investment and careful environmental stewardship.
    • Today, BSW is a £220m business, producing more than 1.2 million m3 of sawn timber each year, mainly for the UK’s construction, fencing and landscape market.
    • The company operates seven sawmills across the UK and one in Latvia, employing 1000 people in mainly rural areas as well as supporting thousands of jobs across the local supply chain.
    • BSW Timber’s Group Headquarters is in Earlston, Berwickshire. Its seven UK sawmills are based in:
      • Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway
      • Boat of Garten, Inverness-shire
      • Fort William, Inverness-shire
      • Petersmuir, East Lothian
      • Carlisle, Cumbria
      • Newbridge-on-Wye, Powys
      • Southampton, Hampshire

For more information on the Freight Facilities Grant contact Sarah O’Loughlin at Press Transport Scotland on 07920 477564

For more information on BSW and Boyd Brothers contact Weber Shandwick, PR Consultants. For more information, additional pictures or interviews, please contact Richard Bright on 0131 556 6649 or 07770886914.

Published 10 Mar 2015