Haulage firm gets £1m boost to move tim­ber freight by sea

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - News - BY SUE RESTAN

A High­land haulage com­pany has been awarded al­most £1mil­lion for a new wa­ter freight ser­vice that will re­duce the num­ber of tim­ber trucks on Scot­land’s trunk roads.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Keith Brown has an­nounced £959,773 for Boyd Broth­ers Haulage Ltd, of Cor­pach, Fort Wil­liam, to trans­port tim­ber by sea.

The fund­ing is aimed at re­mov­ing more than 6,300 HGV jour­neys from key routes, such as the A82 In­ver­ness to Glas­gow road and M74 be­tween Glas­gow and Gretna, dur­ing its first three years of op­er­a­tion.

The new ser­vice will trans­port sawn-tim­ber pro­duced at BSW’s re­cent­ly­opened sawmill at Cor­pach to Til­bury in the south-east of Eng­land.

Com­pa­nies of­ten con­sider trans­port­ing goods by road to be the most cost-ef­fec­tive method, how­ever the Wa­ter­borne Freight Grant will en­able them to be trans­ported by­wa­ter, with­out the com­pa­nies be­ing out of pocket.

Mr Brown said: “This new wa­ter freight ser­vice will help to re­duce the num­ber of HGVs trav­el­ling on one of our most iconic, scenic tourist routes.

“It will also con­trib­ute to the sus­tain­abil­ity of Scot­land by re­duc­ing con­ges­tion, car­bon emis­sions, noise, ac­ci­dents and dam­age to our road net­work.

“We re­alise that mov­ing freight by rail or wa­ter isn’t al­ways the most cost-ef­fec­tive op­tion and this freight grant fund­ing can bridge that gap.”

BSW Tim­ber chief ex­ec­u­tive, Tony Hack­ney, said the com­pany had in­vested £43mil­lion into its Fort Wil­liam mill over the past five years, dou­bling its pro­duc­tion out­put and creat­ing one the largest and most ad­vanced sawmill sites op­er­at­ing any­where in the UK.

He said: “This grant al­lows us to de­velop a sus­tain­able lo­gis­tics so­lu­tion into the south- east of Eng­land to sup­port more in­vest­ment for For t Wil­liam.

“It will help us feed the de­mand for home-grown Scot­tish tim­ber in a UK mar­ket tra­di­tion­ally dom­i­nated by im­ports, as well as sig­nif­i­cantly im­prov­ing ser­vice to our cus­tomers across the coun­try.”

Keith Brown

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