Ralph Saelzer, Liebherr Sunderland Works Ltd, September 2019.
How did you first hear about Port of Sunderland and when did you start working with the team?
Liebherr Sunderland Works Ltd has worked with Port of Sunderland ever since we opened our doors in the city back in 1989 however our partnership has strengthened in recent years, with rising demand for our Reachstacker and Harbour Mobile Cranes leading to increased orders from overseas, requiring both import and export support from the port.
What challenges did your business face prior to working with the port and how did the team work with you to address them?
We are in constant dialogue with the port and the team have been fantastic over the years. They’re always keen to hear what challenges we’re facing and they work hard to support us to address them. This close co-operation has been key to establishing such a strong relationship and one we look forward to building further in the future.
How has the relationship grown since?
As demand for our machines has continued to grow, so has our relationship with the port, especially over the last few months when shipments have become more regular. Improvements to the roads connecting the port to the wider city have also been key to this. Our Reachstacker cranes for example are now able to drive self-propelled, meaning we can drive them directly to the Port from our site in less than half an hour.
In addition, the improved facilties mean we can now use the port for safe storage of components, which has been a huge boost.
What do you attribute this to?
We enjoy an excellent working relationship with the port. They’re very flexible and helpful in fulfilling our demands and are always looking for ways to improve our relationship. Their ties to the council make them absolutely attuned to business needs in the city, and its economy too.
Which services/spaces do you use at the port and what impact have they had on your business?
We ship our cranes via each of the different quays and the location of the port means we can directly drive our cranes to the site before either driving or lifting them on to vessels utilising the port’s heavy lifting cranes. As previously mentioned, we’re also able to use their safe storage facilities to store components either for export or for assembling cranes on-site.
What makes Port of Sunderland a good partner for your business?
They are easy to reach, especially in terms of our self-propelled driving Reachstackers, and the flexibility of the team makes them a fantastic partner organisation to work with. I must also mention the effective and safe shipment procedures they have in place, which are a huge bonus.
Finally, what would you say to someone thinking of using the space/services offered by Port of Sunderland?
The excellence of both the team and facilties make it a great organisation to do business with – give it a try.