SCH Motor

SCH Motoprep Technical Manager and Rob Smith made a promising start to this year’s motorcycle race season by securing three top five class finishes at Donnington in the first meeting of the season.

Rob was making his debut in the Thundersport GB club GP1 sportsman class after winning the Freshman class last season and his challenge this season will be boosted by riding an updated BMW S1000RR.

Having started 26th out of 40 on the grid after a frustrating qualifying session, Rob worked his way through the field in the first of the weekend’s  three races to finish third in his class and 18th overall, with his lap times ensuring a higher starting place on the grid for the second race.

Rob, who is supported by SCH in his racing endeavours, overcame a disappointing start to bag a fifth place in the second race and, after getting off to a better start in race three, had a great battle with Callum O’Shea for a few laps to eventually hold him off, securing a finish fourth in class and 17th overall.

It was a successful first outing on the SCH Motoprep BMW S1000RR and Rob is now looking forward to the next round at Oulton Park on April 21-22.


SCH MotoPrep, the BMW car and motorcycle technical preparation arm of the group, has taken on its first apprentice technicians.

Alex Harfield (19) and Miles Budd (18) have joined the company on a three-year apprenticeship that will eventually see them qualify as ATA (Automotive Technical Accreditation) graded technicians.

Alex, from Crowthorne, will spend his three years working between SCH’s Farnborough motorcycle workshop  and a BMW motorcycle retailer in Guildford, along with studying at BMW’s training academy near Reading. Miles, who hails from near Northampton, will also spend part of his time at the academy, between working at SCH’s motorcycle PDI centre at Sywell.

During that time, they will become fully versed in all technical aspects of BMW motorcycles, from fault diagnosis to major overhauls, culminating in their graduation with full automotive technical accreditation.

SCH MotoPrep Technical Manager Rob Smith explained: “We looked upon this as an opportunity to invest in the industry’s future skills base while underlining our commitment to the BMW training programme.”

Alex and Miles emerged from a rigorous selection process to win their places on the SCH MotoPrep apprentice scheme.

Alex explained: “This is a great opportunity to embark on what I am sure will be a rewarding career,” while Miles added: “I’m really grateful to SCH for giving me the chance to become a qualified technician and part of the famous BMW brand.”

Photo shows: (l to r) SCH Motoprep General Manager Chris Lee, Miles Budd, Alex Smith and SCH Motoprep Technical Manager Rob Smith


Cruise ship handling specialists SCH and sister company Southern Maritime Services (SMS) are scheduled to handle nearly 200 calls into the UK during 2018, underlining the companies’ position as the most extensive provider of cruise services in the UK.

The calls will be spread between Southampton, Liverpool and Portsmouth with customers including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Fred Olsen Lines, Saga Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Cruise and Maritime Voyages and Noble Caledonia. SCH will handle calls in Southampton and Liverpool, while SMS is the exclusive provider of cruise ship services in Portsmouth, where the company will handle Saga Cruises regularly for the first time.

Cruise and Passenger Services

Both SCH and SMS are part of the Independent Port Handing Group (IPH), which also includes Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS) and security specialists Viper Maritime Security (VMS). CPS carries out valet car parking services in Southampton, Liverpool, Oban and Portsmouth, with Carnival UK the major customer in Southampton.

The most prestigious cruise celebrations to be supported by SCH in Southampton during 2018 are the re-launch of RCI’s Independence of the Seas, following a major refit that will see additional cabins and other exciting features added, and the naming and inaugural call in August of Azamara’s new ship Azamara Pursuit, formerly P&O’s Adonia.

IPH Director Lee Davis explained: “2018 promises to be another busy and successful year for the IPH Group’s cruise operations around the UK.”



SCH has supported a four-day discharge operation to unload sections of two new super post-Panamax gantry cranes at the container facilities of Southampton’s DP World.

The team assisted with hooking up the crane parts as they were off-loaded from the vessel Symphony Sky at 207 berth. Ship’s agents were GP Shipping.

When fully assembled, the new cranes will be taller and wider than the existing cranes on the quay. At their highest point, they will stand at 138 metres (459 foot) tall – as tall as the London Eye – and they will enhance DP World’s ability to handle the latest mega-container ships


Leading roll-on/roll-off handler SCH saw its volume of cargo handled through the port of Southampton grow by over 25 per cent last year.

Having seen its ro-ro import and export volumes smash through the 200,000 units barrier in 2016, the stevedore and terminal management specialists experienced further significant growth last year as units climbed to more than 280,000.

By far the biggest contributor was cars with volumes increasing by more than 4,000 a month. Heavy ro-ro cargoes also grew with totals rising by an average of over 300 a month. Some 80 per cent of cars handled were for export.

SCH, which handles import and export trades serving regions including Europe, the Middle East, Far East and North America, benefited from increasing its market share of ro-ro cargoes handled through Southampton.

Most notably, this saw the company win the business of Euro Marine Logistics (EML), a joint venture project between Mitsui OSK Linesand Hoegh Autoliners. The line carries all Renault vehicles arriving in Southampton from France and Spain.

Deep-sea  ro-ro lines handled by SCH include Hoegh Autoliners, NYK Line, Glovis and EUKOR Car Carriers.

SCH Director Lee Davis explained: “Southampton has invested heavily to consolidate its leading role in the UK for handling new vehicles. We have benefited from this commitment and, together with our individual service levels and expertise, this has enabled us to grow our market share and increase our overall volumes.”

Ro-Ro Volumes


Christmas Jumper

A group of SCH employees entered into the Christmas spirit by supporting Save the Children’s Christmas jumper day. Adding to the festive frolics, they contributed to a Christmas draw which raised a healthy sum in support of the Appeal. A Merry Xmas to all from everyone at SCH!


Cruise ship handling specialists SCH have completed a successful 2017 cruise season in the Port of Southampton following one of their busiest programmes in recent years.

The season’s totals were headed by Royal Caribbean International, whose Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas made up the bulk of calls handled by SCH, primarily at the City Cruise Terminal.

However, 2017 was also notable for the company handling Silversea Cruises in Southampton for the first time, with their exclusive vessels Silver Whisper, Silver Explorer, Silver Wind and Silver Muse, the latter making her inaugural call in Southampton in her debut season. Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse was also a regular caller, along with Azamara Cruises’ Azamara Journey . The calls translated into SCH handling some 400,000 passengers and nearly 1m. suitcases for cruise visitors transiting the port.

SCH, which provides services including baggage handling, stores loading and mooring, is already gearing up for next season’s busy itinerary in Southampton as it looks to continue growing its cruise business. Among the highlights will be the introduction to the UK market of Celebrity Cruise’s Celebrity Silhouette and the arrival of Azamara’s latest ship, Azamara Pursuit.

Operations Manager Glen Gardner explained: “With operations in Southampton and also Portsmouth and Liverpool, the key element for our cruise handling is flexibility with our business spread over several ports and several customers. That diversity gives us unrivalled experience in tailoring our operations to customer needs.”

In addition to cruise ship handling, SCH’s sister company, Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS), is responsible for handling valet car parking for hundreds of cruise ship calls in Southampton, Portsmouth and Liverpool.



Robert Smith, SCH’s Technical Manager of its motorcycle preparation centre in Sywell, has clinched the Thundersport GB club’s GP1 Freshman class championship in his debut season.

Riding his BMW S1000RR, Robert has won 22 out of 26 races this season and secured the title at Oulton Park with the final series of races still to go.

His latest success in a double header at Oulton Park saw him start the first race from the front row on the grid and emerge as class winner after the race was shortened by an incident. The second race saw him finish fifth overall and first in class to secure the crown as 2017 GP1FM Champion going into the last race of the season at Donington Park.

SCH has supported Robert by supplying tyres for the year and it has been an impressive debut season for the former motorcycle drag racer.

Robert explained: “It has been a fantastic year for the SCH Racing Team coming first or second in 25 of the 26 races and everyone involved deserves a big thank you for their help and support.”

And Robert also has plenty to thank BMW bikes for. Besides the day job, his BMW S1000RR has proved to be the pick of the machines in the Freshman championship this season.



Cruise handling specialists SCH have handled the inaugural call in Southampton of the Silversea Cruises ship Silver Muse.

The biggest ship in the Silversea fleet, delivered earlier this year, arrived from Lisbon, and was shown off to UK travel experts on a one-night trip in the Channel before sailing on a 16-night transatlantic voyage to Canada.

Having won the contract to handle all Silversea calls in Southampton earlier this year, SCH has been regularly handling the Silversea vessels Silver Whisper, Silver Explorer and Silver Wind on their visits to the port this cruise season.

At 40,700 tonnes and with accommodation for just under 600 guests, Silver Muse is the biggest ship to join the Silversea fleet, having entered service  earlier this year after being built in Italy.

SCH Cruise Operations Manager Glen Gardner explained: “Silver Muse is a prestigious addition to the fleet of luxury ships operated by Silversea and her call brought a fitting end to the 2017 season for the line’s Southampton calls. It has been a highly successful first season for us in handling Silversea ships and we look forward to their return to Southampton next year.”

SCH provided a wide range of support for Silver Muse including baggage handling, mobility assistance, stores loading and mooring. Some 300 tonnes of stores were loaded and 500 passengers embarked for the transatlantic voyage.

Silver Muse


Cruise Vessel Berlin

SCH has added to its portfolio of cruise ship customers with the first 2017 call in Southampton of FTI Cruises vessel Berlin, as part of a two-week round Britain cruise.

SCH provided mooring and other support services as part of the transit call made by the 412-passenger capacity Berlin when she arrived from Guernsey and subsequently sailed for Bremerhaven.

The call by Berlin came in the midst of a busy five-day period when SCH and its sister companies provided support for 18 cruise ships across Southampton, Liverpool and Portsmouth.

For SCH sister company Southern Maritime Services, it was one of the busiest days of the season with two calls by Noble Caledonia vessels that involved several hundred passengers travelling through Portsmouth International Port. The luxurious Hebridean Sky was on a private charter, while the small ship Serenissima set sail on a ten-day cruise through western France to Bordeaux.

In Liverpool, SCH carried out its regular task of mooring, baggage handling, storing and car parking for passengers joining the CMV Marco Polo for a month-long voyage to the US and Canada, while the German vessel Aidavita made a one-day call as part of a round Britain trip.

In addition to the Berlin, cruise ship support in Southampton saw SCH and Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS) provide 13 ships with stevedoring and car parking services over the five day period. CPS carried out passenger car parking for Cunard, P&O and Princess Cruises, while SCH supported full turnarounds for Royal Caribbean International (RCI), Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.

Disembark and embark services were provided for over 15,000 passengers and hundreds of tonnes of stores loaded as the busy 2017 schedule in Southampton continued. In addition, SCH also provided its regular menu of mooring and storing services for the TUI vessel Mein Schiff 4 as she made a transit call during her voyage from Germany to the Mediterranean.