Port terminal operators SCH have diversified further by taking over the management and operation of Pre-Delivery Inspection and modification centres preparing BMW vehicles and imported motor cycles for the UK market.

SCH, which carries out stevedoring and other port related operations in locations including Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth and Sheerness, will operate the BMW technical preparation centres in Southampton, Oxford and Sywell, near Northampton, which is a new centre dealing exclusively with motor cycles.

The contract has been awarded for a period of four years, with an option for a further three years.

SCH has recruited around 30 personnel for the operation at Sywell which will involve work to prepare some 10,000 motorcycles sold into the UK market every year. The machines, spanning the full BMW range, are imported from Germany and are stored, inspected and fitted with accessories at Sywell.

The Sywell facility, around 75,000 square feet, replaces the process previously carried out for motorcycles at the BMW Thorne centre near Doncaster. It is a secure, refurbished building with the option to expand as required and includes purpose-installed storage racking and work bays.

SCH has also taken over the operation of preparation centres at Oxford and Southampton that handle more than 50,000 BMW vehicles year, fitting accessories and modification ready for the vehicles to enter the UK market.

Nearly 50 employees, including specialist technicians, have been transferred to SCH from the previous contractor with work content including PDI and modification work on BMWs built in Europe and the US and Minis built in the UK.

SCH already handles BMW Mini cars at Oxford, loading vehicles on trains for export ports Southampton and Purfleet, where the company is also responsible for discharging the cars from trains. Part of the new contract with BMW includes an increased responsibility for movement of Minis at the Oxford manufacturing plant.

SCH Director Ian Morrison commented: “The award of this work enhances the current relationship we have with BMW and is an important new addition to the SCH portfolio. Our automotive services business has grown considerably over the last two years and we are keen to continue this development and increase our influence within the sector.”