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Grimsby Fish Docks / Quayside Distribution

Grimsby has just signed a huge deal with Marine Harvest, the world's largest salmon farming company, boosting the port's claim to be at the heart of the UK fish industry
More than 30,000 tonnes of salmon a year will be distributed from the town’s docks in the tie-up with Marine Harvest.

The move has created 25 jobs, seen £1.5-million invested in articulated lorries and led to a new £200,000 distribution centre at the Grimsby fish market.

Martyn Boyers, chief executive of Grimsby Fish Dock Enterprises was jubilant, describing it as a “significant” deal.

He said: “The town is the focal point of the fish and fish processing industries and this arrangement underlines our capacity and strength. We are pleased to provide a facility like this to such a prestigious company as Marine Harvest."

Martyn added: “It is a logistics operation, which also cements our strong relationship with Quayside Distribution, already based at Grimsby Fish Market. We have invested heavily into the new facility for Quayside and Marine Harvest in what is a long-term deal.”

Mick Wilkinson, the managing Director of Quayside Distribution, now Britain's largest fish delivery company, confirmed the 25 jobs for drivers and warehousing staff. The new fleet of vehicles will be based at Fort William in Scotland, where Marine Harvest has its processing plant, bringing the salmon down to the holding facility in Grimsby.

“As it is sold by Marine Harvest, we will then allocate and distribute it,” he said. “We have been the biggest fish haulier in England for the past 10 years. This takes our operation into Scotland.”

For Marine Harvest, it means its distribution hub is now closer to many of its key customers who are thought to include companies like Young's and Seachill. Although over 200 miles from the Scottish salmon farms, Grimsby fish companies handle more than 50 per cent of the UK retail salmon market - most of it bound for the supermarkets.

Ewan MacColl, the Marine Harvest planning and logistics manager, explained how it produced salmon at fish farms on the west coast of Scotland and processed it in Fort William.

He said: "The move cuts cost and time out of the supply chain because it brings us much closer to our customers. It has been a big change for us, however, operationally everything has gone extremely smoothly through the start up period."

Mr MacColl added: “We’re delighted with the facility at Grimsby and the level of skill and commitment demonstrated by everyone involved in getting this project off the ground and running successfully in such a short space of time. Grimsby becomes the main hub of our distribution, with more than 30,000 tonnes of salmon going through this new facility per year.”

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