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Southampton Cargo Handling Plc

Following the demise of the National Dock Labour Scheme, Associated British Ports (ABP), the privatised successor to the British Transport Docks Board, made a policy decision at the turn of the year 1989/1990 to withdraw from stevedoring activities in Southampton. This resulted in ABP making its existing operational labour force redundant. ABP also advised that its existing customers including passenger ships, fruit, ocean going RoRo, timber carriers, export car carriers and general cargo operations but excluding the privately operated container terminals (SCT) and the grain terminals would be offered out to competitive tender.

ABP were prepared to consider a commercial competitive bid for stevedoring from members of the redundant workforce. The result was that a tender for the business was submitted on 7 February 1990 with a target start date of 28 April 1990.

On 26 February 1990 ABP announced it had decided to award a stevedoring licence to the former registered dockworkers, crane drivers, checkers and clerks (i.e. the redundant workforce). Additionally ABP announced that the new workforce would be dealing directly with the shipping lines and not through ABP.

A Certificate of Trading was issued at noon on Friday 27 April 1990 for the new Company. Southampton Cargo Handling Plc handled its first ships on Saturday 28 April 1990.