Geest in Line for Portsmouth Return
Eastern Caribbean shipping firm Geest Line is returning to Portsmouth two years after relocating to Dover.
The company moved its cargo handling operation to the Kent port due to scheduling difficulties at Portsmouth, which have now been resolved.
Geest Line’s headquarters and its 32 staff remained in Hampshire and bosses say it makes logistical and business sense to return.
The company has been an exclusively Europe-to-Caribbean freight operator for more than 60 years, with weekly westbound sailings from the south of England and more recently the Netherlands.
Its fleet handles all kinds of general cargo from tiny perishables to large project machinery, both container and breakbulk, returning from the Caribbean with fruit, mainly bananas, for the UK and European markets.
Managing director, Capt Peter Dixon, said: “We left Portsmouth because of scheduling difficulties when we replaced our fleet with five larger and newer ships, increasing our capacity by 40 per cent.
“The port at Dover was able to accommodate us and enabled our business to continue and grow.
“But changes at Portsmouth mean it can now handle our larger and modified service and it makes sense to return.
“It has nothing to do with Brexit, but is simply a business decision and we intend to welcome our ships back to Portsmouth from January – two years after we left.
“We’re grateful to the port and people of Dover and look forward to re-engaging with the port and people of Portsmouth.”
Portico is Portsmouth’s international cargo operator, a council-owned business which strengthens the city’s global trade position.
It’s located within Portsmouth International Port, the closest south coast port to main shipping channels.