Car import delivery expected to arrive at Ramsgate

Car imports at Ramsgate Photo Simon Piggott

An ad-hoc car import delivery is expected to take place at Ramsgate tomorrow (January 25).

The delivery is through transport and logistics company GEFCO UK Ltd, which previously had a deal with Thanet council for use of the port between January 2016-January 2017.

It is expected to take around four hours with agency workers from HRGO unloading the vehicles. The vessel will arrive in port at 10am with unloading from 1pm. It is possible that more deliveries will be scheduled for next week.

The trade is currently the only activity at the port despite it being earmarked as a base for ‘post-Brexit’ extra ferry capacity with Seaborne Freight’s proposed service to Ostend.

GEFCO delivery in 2016 Photo TDC

The last import deliveries to Ramsgate were in July when cargo ship the Ciudad De Cadiz used the port due to there being no space for her at Felixstowe.

The shipments provide income for the port which has losses of £20million since 2010, according to Thanet council’s statement of accounts for each financial year from 2010/11 to 2017/18.

The figures exclude £5million in live export compensation and £3.4million for bankrupt TransEuropa Ferries unpaid fees and charges.

This month Cabinet members at Thanet District Council agreed a draft budget for 2019-20 which includes axing £630,000 – or £730,000 for a full year – from spending at Ramsgate Port. The figure includes £500,000 that was spent last year to keep the port in a state of readiness for a ferry service. If a deal with Seaborne is not signed by January 31 the port will be stood down rather than spending a similar sum this coming year.

Gefco operates at 18 UK sites, including Sheerness. The company imports and distributes some 500,000 vehicles annually through UK ports for several major vehicle manufacturers.

Ramsgate Harbour has a history of car importation going back to the 1960s which was continued when the port was constructed in the early 1980s.

Thanet council has been asked for details of the latest shipment.


  1. Additional sock in case of a no BREXIT deal and in case extra import duties come into effect. Thanet has plenty of storage space on land with planning permission for houses but building not taken place till 2040.

  2. This could be the Brexit future! Importing more cars and vacuum cleaners and aircraft parts and railway carriages as they will no longer be made in Britain. A dire future for UK manufacturing but excellent news for ports, ferries and road haulage companies bringing the stuff into the country.

    • Transit vans, Hoover washing machines (S Wales), Indesit washing machines (S Wales), Terry’s chocolate orange, York and many other lesser known manufacturers. All closed and moved to Eastern Europe (Poland etc) with massive grants and incentives given by the EU. We have already lost thousands of jobs by being IN the EU.

  3. Comments indicate usual political idiots negativity!
    Can we expect protests from animal rights morons against environmental issues from cars…

  4. This just shows that the council lack any business acumen. The whole country knows we are going to need more access to the euro zone. Surely, they would keep it open for business until the end of this year!
    I’m sure there be impromptu business that will cover the running costs, then have a PLAN in place for 2020.
    Like everything in life, it’s all about the timing.

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