Port terminal operating company Southampton Cargo Handling (SCH) is playing a key role in helping to make the Port of Southampton a valuable generator of regional and national economic wealth.

An independent report from consultants Arup into the contribution made by Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Southampton facility shows that the port contributes £990 million to the UK economy every year, including £714 million for the Solent region. It also shows that the port supports some 14,730 jobs.

Among the major trades in Southampton is the cruise business, with the port having handled 1.7 million passengers last year to retain its position as the UK’s top cruise port. Southampton is also the leading port for car handling with 745,000 vehicles handled in 2013, two thirds of which were for export. In addition, it is Europe’s most efficient container port.

SCH is a major provider of stevedoring and ancillary support for both cruise and ro-ro businesses in Southampton, with its wide range of services enhanced by warehouse facilities located close to the Port.

Business Development Manager Lee Davis commented: “The Port of Southampton continues to go from strength to strength and this report underlines the valuable part it plays in the UK and regional economy. Service is key to maintaining that progress and SCH is committed to ensuring that port users continue to regard Southampton as their preferred choice.”

According to the Arup report, ABP has invested over £100 million to help drive growth and secure jobs in Southampton over the past five years and plans to spend a further £150 million to develop the port over the next five years.