Scotland business

Port of Grangemouth boosted by 'bumper' potato seed season

Port of Grangemouth containers Image copyright Forth Ports
Image caption The port said it handled a record 1,400 refrigerated containers last month

The Port of Grangemouth has said it is on track for a record-breaking quarter, helped by a "bumper" potato seed season.

In October and November, it recorded a 30% year-on-year increase in refrigerated container volumes.

Last month alone, it handled a record 1,400 refrigerated containers, known as reefers.

The bulk were being used for the export of Scottish potato seed to countries such as Egypt, Turkey and Morocco.

Owner Forth Ports said overall it had handled more than 50,000 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) in the past two months.

In 2015 the company extended its reefer power supply point infrastructure following an increase in customer demand, mainly from Scotland's fresh food exporters.

The company said the increased demand was the result of a "significantly longer season" for the shipping of produce such as potatoes, cheese, fish and seafood to markets across the world.

'Bumper season'

Port manager Derek Knox said: "Scotland has a strong reputation right across the world for the quality of our fresh produce and this has resulted in increasing demand for reefer capacity at our port in Grangemouth.

"This year, we have seen potato seed in particular enjoying a bumper season with Scottish farmers exporting their crop globally, resulting in our port's busiest quarter ever.

"This is good for the Scottish economy, good for the farming sector and good for business and we're committed to supporting this growth through our investments in infrastructure and equipment at the Port of Grangemouth."

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