A MAJOR £750,000 upgrade has been completed at the Port of Greenock to boost refrigerated containment capabilities in a bid to establish the town as a leading hub for cold cargo.

Peel Ports has substantially increased the number of ‘reefer points’ - which are used to power refrigerated cargo units - at the local export terminal from 32 to 220 in a move it says will benefit Scottish exporters of perishable goods.

The new facilities will significantly increase ease of access to global markets for food and drink manufacturers, with commodities like seed potatoes, meats, fish, fruit and vegetables and dairy products directly benefiting from the upgrades.

Bosses say the expansion will also bring benefits to pharmaceuticals manufacturers, the agriculture industry and other enterprises dealing with temperature-sensitive goods.

The investment has facilitated various upgrades, including the addition of a new substation to the port's network, the construction of new purpose-built reefer gantries, and the upgrade of existing reefer facilities.

The expanded reefer points infrastructure offers a range of benefits to manufacturers, cargo owners, freight forwarders, and shipping lines alike, including opening up alternative routes to market and additional capacity to export larger volumes of refrigerated cargo.

The changes also eliminate the need for diesel generators, helping exporters to reduce the carbon emissions produced by their operations.

Jim McSporran, Port Director, Peel Ports Clydeport said: "This significant investment into the Port of Greenock’s reefer points infrastructure underscores our commitment to providing world-class facilities to support the needs of our customers in Scotland.

“We are excited about the opportunities this investment brings for businesses involved in exporting perishable goods, especially at a time when demand for temperature-sensitive goods is growing. We look forward to playing an even bigger role in Scotland’s export success."

Craig Scrimgeour, Scotland Director at Drac Logistics, a firm which supports the import and export of perishable foods across the world, said: “We’re really pleased to hear about this reefer investment at the Port of Greenock ahead of the imminent arrival of its two new ship-to-shore cranes later this year.

“This will significantly increase our ability to store and transfer our cargo, as well as our access to global markets.

“It’s really positive news for import and export companies across the country, and we believe it will support and attract new services into Scotland’s only deep water container port.”