Höegh Autoliners, one of SCH’s major ro-ro customers in the Port of Southampton, has announced that its Europe to Middle East service has been extended by adding further port calls in Asia to the schedule.

The service now offers shippers two direct sailings per month from Höegh’s main ports in Europe, to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. Destinations in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, China, Japan and South Korea are offered via transhipment in Singapore.

The first sailing on the new schedules commenced with Höegh Chiba, which was loaded by SCH in Southampton on January 22.


Roll-on/roll-off cargo specialists SCH have secured a contract to discharge Ford vehicles arriving at the port of Liverpool from the US and Europe.

SCH, which handles more than 200,000 ro-ro units a year, discharges twice weekly shipments of Ford cars and vans to adjacent port standing, for onward transport to Ford dealers.

The shipments from Ford’s factories in the US and Europe are carried on Atlantic Container Line con-ro ships, with predicted volumes of over 25,000 vehicles per annum.

SCH already carries out cruise ship work in Liverpool, turning round or handling the transit calls of more than 50 ships a year through the Merseyside port using local labour.

The same personnel now have the opportunity to join the ro-ro team, which is supplemented by additional local agency staff.

SCH Director Ian Morrison commented: “Throughout the group, we handle over 200,000 ro-ro units a year in addition to port terminal and railhead management activities. This extension of our business to include Ford models arriving in Liverpool further underlines our credentials as a leading UK handler of vehicle cargoes.”


SCH has completed a successful summer season for cruise ship services with some 150 ships handled around the UK.

The biggest number of ships was handled in Southampton were Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises provided the mainstay of the eight-month season, with RCI’s Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas operating a full programme of cruises throughout Northern Europe.

SCH’s expertise in baggage and stores handling also helped to ensure that Liverpool maintained its role as the northern hub of UK cruising with more than 50 turnaround and day calls. Further winter calls are scheduled for Fred Olsen Line’s Black Watch ship.

Portsmouth, where SCH’s sister company Southern Maritime Services provides exclusive cruise ship services, hosted more than 40 turnaround and calling cruise ship calls, while the programme will also continue into the winter with Saga Cruises operating its vessel Saga Pearl II from the port.

SCH Director Lee Davis commented: “This summer’s operations have again demonstrated our role as the UK’s most extensive provider of cruise ship services, with the SCH parent group also responsible for valet parking tens of thousands of passenger cars.”


SCH Motoprep Technical Manager Rob Smith finished a creditable fourth in his Thundersport GB club GP1 Sportsman class after completing three top four finishes in the final races of the season at Snetterton.

Going into round eight of the campaign, Rob rode his BMW S1000RR bike into third in his class in the opening race of the weekend. Reaching speeds of around 180 mph, he then achieved fourth place finishes in his class in the two Sunday races, meaning that he was confirmed in fourth place in the Thundersport class for the season.

Having suffered a broken collar bone and mechanical issues during the summer, it was a good performance in his first season in the class, having won the Freshman Class last year. Rob, who is supported by SCH in his racing endeavours, will now move up a further class next year when he takes on the Elite series.

He explained: “It has been a bit of a mixed season with the injury and engineering challenges but I’ll be working hard to come out fitter, stronger and faster next summer as we step up a class.  Overall, I’m happy with the way things have gone and delighted with the great support that I’ve had. I couldn’t have done it without the people who have backed me all the way.”


SCH has played its part in helping the port of Southampton raise more than £6,000 for three local charities after donating its car park for weekend use by visitors to the Southampton Boat Show.

The car park at Pathfinder House, where SCH’s Motoprep business is based, was one of several Eastern Docks spaces where Boat Show visitors paid to park.

The initiative was organised by port of Southampton security guards Steve Russell and Colin Ferraday.

Of more than £6,000 raised, £2,161 went to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, with just over £2,000 each going to Wessex Cancer Trust and Solent Dolphin, the charity that organises boat trips for people with disabilities.

Through charitable support, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance brings an advanced Critical Care Team to people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight when they need it most.

In a thank you letter to June Furzey, HR Manager at SCH’s Pathfinder personnel agency, Wessex Cancer’s Community Events and Fund Raiser Charlotte von Sicard said: “The Trust aims to help all children, teenagers and adults in the Wessex area who are living with cancer, when and where they need it. Thank you again, your generosity will help us to continue to support those affected by cancer.”


September has ended with SCH experiencing one of its busiest ro-ro weeks of the year by handling more than 8,000 cars and heavy wheeled units.

The hectic end to the month saw 12 ships handled during the final full week of September, coming on the back of the traditionally quieter August period.

Southampton’s Leading Handler of Deep-sea Ro-Ro

Nearly 6,000 of the ro-ro units were for export with destinations including the US, Middle East and Far East, while the biggest import shipment saw more than 750 Renault vehicles arrive from Europe. SCH is the port of Southampton’s leading handler of deep-sea ro-ro cargoes

The company, which handled a total of 220,000 ro-ro units in 2017, is now looking forward to a strong end to the year as volumes in the final few months continue to climb.

Director Lee Davis explained: “We’re gearing up for another busy month in October with our volumes during the current period probably as high as they have been at any time during the year.”


Port general managers from as far afield as Australia, South America, the US, Canada and Europe have visited SCH in Southampton to learn about the company’s operations.

The group of eight were all members of the worldwide General Stevedoring Council taking part in a European General Managers course. They spent three days in the port of Southampton being hosted by SCH.

Presentations were made to the group outlining SCH’s development and current operations before they were given a tour of the port where they took a closer look at the company’s activities, including receiving and handling ro-ro cargoes. SCH is Southampton’s leading handler of deep-sea ro-ro cargoes.

The GSC members then divided into teams and undertook a project to review some of the cargo handling processes.  Ultimately they had to prepare a presentation to an SCH management board comprising directors Richard Burgess and Lee Davis, along with Central Receiving Supervisor Lee Couzens, giving their recommendations to improve, simplify or increase resilience in the processes.

The GSC team returned to Copenhagen where they will complete their course.

SCH Director Richard Burgess explained: “Coming from ports worldwide and often with a focus on certain trades and ways of handling cargoes, it was a valuable experience for the group to visit Southampton where there is a wide range of trade sectors. We were able to give them an interesting insight into the way the port works and the specific operations of SCH.

“For us, it was also useful to get their views on the way we work and overall the visit was a rewarding exercise for both parties.”

Frans Baud, GSC mentor for the visit, added: “The group enjoyed a splendid visit and were extremely impressed by the operations at the Port of Southampton and the important role played by SCH in their efficiency. We hope SCH was also able to benefit from the team’s ideas for improving the operation of cargo movements.”

SCH’s Cruise Manager Paulo Oliveira was also part of the GSC course but as part of another group that visited other ports in  Northern and Southern Europe.



SCH and sister company Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS) have contributed to Southampton being named as best UK port in the British Cruise Awards 2018.

It is the second year in a row that Southampton has been named best port after 80,000 readers of the magazine Cruise International voted.

Cruise Services

SCH, through its stevedoring services, and CPS, which provides valet parking, make a significant contribution to the cruise ship service offering provided in Southampton, which is Northern Europe’s busiest cruise port.

The award was sponsored by Marello Cruises and was presented by their managing director, Chris Hackney at a ceremony held at the House of Lords.

Several cruise lines under the Carnival brand, which use CPS to provide valet parking services for passengers transiting Southampton, also picked up accolades at the awards.

SCH Director Lee Davis commented: “The awards demonstrated again Southampton’s leading role in UK cruise operations and we are delighted to play our part in contributing to this success.”


SCH pulled out all the stops to ensure that the visit to Southampton of Azamara Club Cruises’ new ship for her official christening ceremony was a success.

Having handled the Azamara Pursuit on two previous visits to Southampton earlier this summer, SCH was on hand to ensure a smooth disembark for hundreds of passengers as they left the ship after a  voyage to Iceland via ports in the UK and Ireland.

Then came the preparations for a spectacular christening ceremony in Southampton before the ship, which can accommodate over 700, made a short Channel cruise for specially invited guests.

Once Azamara Pursuit returned to port, SCH swung into action to get the ship ready for her final UK-based voyage of the season with baggage and stores needing to be loaded before she sailed  from Southampton for a cruise to the Iberian Peninsula.

With a hectic three days of moves within the port and a short cruise before the wide range of preparations needed for her departure for Western Europe, it was a case of three days of intense activity for the SCH teams.

Cruise Operations Manager Paulo Oliveira explained: “It was a demanding series of operations but a great opportunity for Azamara to highlight the qualities of their new ship and we were delighted to support Azamara Pursuit for this special call in Southampton .”


Southampton Cargo Handling (SCH) has added another prestigious ship to its fleet of cruise ship clients after Azamara Club Cruises vessel Azamara Pursuit arrived in Southampton for the first time.

Azamara Pursuit, which can accommodate over 700 passengers, is the former P&O Cruises vessel Adonia and arrived in Southampton following an extensive refurbishment in Northern Ireland, which transformed her into the style of sister ships Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey.

Azamara Pursuit was introduced to hundreds of special guests before preparing for  her  inaugural cruise to Norway, with SCH providing baggage and storing services. She is scheduled for two further calls at the port in August, which will include a ceremony to officially christen her later in the month.

Cruise Ship Services

SCH and sister company Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS) saw one of their busiest cruise ship weekends of the season at the end of July, providing  stevedoring and valet parking services for some  ten ships calling in the Port of Southampton.

Besides Azamara Pursuit, SCH supported Royal Caribbean International ships Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas while CPS provided car parking services for thousands of passengers joining a wide range of P&O, Cunard and Princess Voyages ships sailing from Southampton.

SCH Director Lee Davis explained: “The last weekend in July represented one of our busiest periods of the cruise ship season and we were particularly thrilled to support Azamara Pursuit for her inaugural call. She is another prestigious addition to the fleet of cruise ships that we handle.”