Grangemouth the focus of Committee visit

17.02.2015

Two Scottish Parliament Committees have visited the Port of Grangemouth, owned by Forth Ports, as part of inquiries into freight transport and exports.

The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee’s inquiry into internationalising Scottish business is trying to identify the challenges and barriers to exporting faced by Scottish businesses and why small firms don’t export.  

The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee’s inquiry is looking to identify the main obstacles to the flow of rail, road, sea and air freight in Scotland and examine how these might be overcome.  

MSPs from the two Committees also visited logistics firm, WH Malcolm, which has a base near the Port of Grangemouth where they provide integrated transport solutions across rail, road and sea.  

Convener of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee Jim Eadie MSP said:  

“The ability of companies in Scotland to export is clearly heavily reliant on cost effective integrated transport routes across road, rail, air and sea. Our Committee is looking at what the main obstacles are to the free flow of goods within Scotland, the UK and to the rest of world. It was invaluable for the Committee to see what is happening on the ground at one of Scotland’s major ports and railheads so that as MSPs we get a better understanding of how freight transport is managed.” 

Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Murdo Fraser MSP said: 

“Gathering the views of business and hearing directly from companies about the logistic challenges when exporting is vital to this inquiry and determining what further support can be given. Clearly infrastructure is a key part of how good we are at exporting – because if our goods can’t get to market then that is a significant issue. The Committee is particularly interested in understanding the role of our publicly funded economic development agencies and identifying what else they can do to support companies to export or to share knowledge and expertise in overseas markets.”  

Charles Hammond, Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports said: 

"Ports are a vital part of Scotland's infrastructure and represent the country's gateway to the world for the export and import of goods. We welcome the opportunity to host the Committees' visit to Scotland's largest container port and freight hub at Grangemouth which contributes significantly to Scotland's GDP and to let the committee members see for themselves the significant investment in the port and the potential for further growth."

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