Freight by Water (FbW, part of the Freight Transport Association), is delighted that the Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) for Scotland is helping its members achieve their environmentally-friendly modal-shift ambitions, especially as the future of the FFG had looked uncertain at the beginning of the year.
Carr’s Flour Mills Ltd received an FFG of over £800,000 to invest in the silos and handling equipment it needed to transport wheat directly to its mill by sea instead of by road, reducing fuel costs, carbon emissions and alleviating local traffic congestion.
Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of Supply Chain Policy, said:
"This is what the freight facilities grant is all about: allowing innovative companies like Carr’s Flour Mills to take advantage of the exciting opportunities afforded by water freight. Although the long-term benefits are convincing, the initial cost of equipment from which to store and move bulk goods onto vessels can be prohibitive.
"This is proof positive that the FFG works and vindicates Scottish Government’s decision to give the grant a reprieve, thereby allowing new applicants for the FFG to benefit in the same way that Carr’s did."
Julius Deane, Wheat Director of Carr’s Flour Mills, said:
"The ability to discharge thousands of tonnes of wheat directly to the mill without using road transport will really help the efficiency of supplying Hutchison’s Flour customers throughout Scotland and the Borders. This facility will further allow us to stay ahead of volatile conditions in both raw material markets and unpredictable weather."
There was a fear that the FFG would be scrapped in the recent Scottish Budget. FTA and key industry leaders had argued that this would have been a retrograde step for Scotland’s businesses and for helping the country meet its tough target of a 42 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020."
"There are plenty of opportunities to replace hundreds of thousands of lorry miles a year with coastal, short sea or inland waterway freight movements. But this can be a daunting prospect; businesses need encouragement, and often cash, to switch from road to water or rail.
"Modal shift is a hugely important issue, especially given the UK’s climate change targets, and we are pleased that lobbying efforts have paid off so grants are still available for forward-thinking companiesto realise their modal shift ambitions."