Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Geest Line To Return To Portsmouth

Recommended Posts

Portico Welcomes Back Geest Line And Responsibility For The Nation’s Bananas

23 August 2019

Eastern Caribbean shipping firm Geest Line is returning to Portsmouth two years after relocating to Dover.

Its fleet handles all kinds of general cargo from tiny perishables to large project machinery, both container and breakbulk, returning from the Caribbean with fruit, mainly bananas, for the UK and European markets.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome back Geest to the city after securing a long-term contract.

“This strengthens Portsmouth’s reputation for international trade and demonstrates the importance of investing in Portico, so it can provide a return on investment for the city and protect jobs.

“The wider Solent region will also benefit from Portico’s growth, providing opportunities in the supply chain and also establishes the city’s position as a serious industry competitor.

“We’re now responsible for handling over 70 per cent of bananas coming into the UK, so the nation depends on Portsmouth to provide one of its favourite five-a-day.

“There can be no doubt about the city’s position as the UK’s major fresh produce port.”

Steve Williams, Portico’s operations director, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Geest once again.

“Together we have been able to accommodate their requirements and also create stable foundations for existing contracts.

“Our partnership with Geest fits perfectly with our business ambitions. It’s about making sure we have long-term, sustainable, agreements, investing in the right equipment and providing the very best for our customers.

“We have been through a significant restructure so we’re confident we have the right resources in place. Industry has changed, it’s less labour intensive but we now have a modern, efficient and capable team able to handle our customers’ demands.”

The company moved its cargo handling operation to the Kent port due to scheduling difficulties at Portsmouth, which have now been resolved.

Geest Line’s headquarters and its 32 staff remained in Hampshire and bosses say it makes logistical and business sense to return.

The company has been an exclusively Europe-to-Caribbean freight operator for more than 60 years, with weekly westbound sailings from the south of England and more recently the Netherlands.

Managing director, Capt Peter Dixon, said: “We left Portsmouth because of
scheduling difficulties when we replaced our fleet with five larger and newer ships, increasing our capacity by 40 per cent.

“The port at Dover was able to accommodate us and enabled our business to
continue and grow.

“But changes at Portsmouth mean it can now handle our larger and modified service and it makes sense to return.

“It has nothing to do with Brexit, but is simply a business decision and we intend to welcome our ships back to Portsmouth from January – two years after we left.

“We’re grateful to the port and people of Dover and look forward to re-engaging with the port and people of Portsmouth.”





Edited by TonyMWeaver
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember when Geest Line used to operate into the port of Barry!  Not a lot goes there these days.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Geest Line are set to return to Portsmouth from Friday 29th November, the 1st 3 ships as follows. Times are subject to change.

'M/V Anne' - Arr: 29/11/19 at 15:30 - Dep: 30/11/19 at 07:00

'Luzon Strait' - Arr: 06/12/19 at 15:30 - Dep: 08/12/19 at 12:00

'Lombok Strait' - Arr: 13/12/19 at 15:30 - Dep: 15/12/19 at 07:00

  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't Geest Line though, the ship was the 'Cote D'Ivoiran Star' of Africa Express Line. It's not the first time one of their ships has brought a Whale into Portsmouth either. It's unknown where this Whale strike happened and the crew were completely unaware of it until the skipper of Pilot Launch 'Hamwic' spotted it when they went to the ship with the duty Pilot. As soon as the radio call was made, the ship was requested to remain out by the NAB Anchorage until Monday afternoon, arriving at 17:00. Presumably so the Whale would not be seen by people on  the Round Tower, Southsea and passing commuters on the ferries. The team from ORCA believe it was a from the Balaenopteridae family. 'Cote D'Ivoirian Star' left Portsmouth at 17:00 on Tuesday, around 7 hours behind schedule.

Photos from the Pilot Launch.



  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...