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UM Terminals Key Feature article in TSA Insight Autumn 2020

Posted on 17 September, 2020

One of the UK’s leading bulk liquid storage companies has had a busy few months.

As if the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic were not enough, UM Terminals (formerly UM Storage) has undergone a name change, rebranded and launched a new company website.

It has also put in place a strategic growth plan to build on the significant investment the business has made into upgrading its facilities and operations over recent years.

UM Terminals operates out of 8 terminals, strategically located across the UK, handling over 40 different products for its customers. It currently has a capacity of over 300,000 cubic metres of bulk liquid storage, but the plan is to grow this to over 400,000 cubic metres.

One of the strengths of the business is the diversity of services it offers and product solutions.

Product solutions include vegetable oils, industrial, food and feed, chemical, fertiliser, fuels, biofuels and base oils.

Services include blowing, blending, heating, processing and sampling among others.

There are three main strands to the new strategic plan. Firstly, the business wants to maximise its UK capability which may include expanding existing terminals or building new ones subject to demand.

Secondly, it is looking at ways in which it can harness the assets of the wider UM Group which has a network of facilities in Europe and other parts of the world storing molasses but which could be used to store other products to meet the needs of existing and new UM Terminals’ customers.

The third part of the strategic plan is to look for acquisition targets that would be a good fit with the UM Terminals business.

UM Terminals employs over 60 people, working 364 – sometimes 365 days – of the year meeting its customers’ needs.

It prides itself on its flexible, agile approach, something that was highlighted during the recent lockdown when it partnered with INEOS to create a hand sanitiser product to meet consumer demand during the pandemic.

In just a few days, both parties were able to agree a strategy incorporating a comprehensive governance procedure, to ensure all relevant health and safety guidelines were met efficiently, and a full review of the key requirements detailed by INEOS.

Once authorisation was received from HMRC, a new bespoke product was created using an in-line blending system at the UM terminal in Hull.

UM Terminals was then able to provide the necessary operational cover to facilitate the increase in product movements via road and sea.

The company also launched its new Client Central Services operation during lockdown. Based out of its Regent Road Terminal in Liverpool, the new service integrates all weighbridge and administration from across the 8 terminals.

A dedicated portal gives clients instant access to essential weighbridge documentation and current stock levels for each tank. They also have a secure log-in and can access their data 24/7, 365 days a year via a desktop, tablet or mobile device.

UM Terminals is a key part of today’s UM Group which has a distinguished history stretching back almost 100 years.

UM’s founder, Michael Kroyer- Keilberg, was involved in bulk liquid storage even earlier than this – he constructed his first tank for the storage of bulk molasses in 1911 at Victoria Dock in Hull.

The tank had a capacity of 3,000 tons and received its first shipment of molasses a year later from the sailing barque, Sunlight.

The Group’s other services include the international trading of molasses, the sales and distribution of molasses and the procurement and marketing of vegetable oils for use in the animal feed industry.

In August, Ben Macer succeeded Chris Roberts as CEO of UM Group having previously been Finance Director.

Bryan Davies, UM Terminals’ Managing Director, said: “While we are hugely proud of our history, we want to ensure that we still have a successful business in 50- or 100-years’ time. The new strategic growth plan offers an exciting future for UM Terminals with its three core elements of maximising our footprint at our existing UK terminals, looking at ways to harness Group assets in Europe and elsewhere and looking for the right acquisition opportunities.

“Alongside this, we will continue to invest year-on-year in our facilities ensuring they provide our customers with flexible and innovative bulk liquid storage solutions underpinned by the highest quality, health and safety and environmental standards.”

Commenting on the company’s new name, Bryan added: “We felt that UM Terminals and the strapline ‘Bulk Liquid Solutions’ better described the services we offer. The range of services we provide our customers with goes so much further than storage.

1709

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