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Associated British Ports announces acquisition of W.E. Dowds (Shipping) Ltd [February 5, 2018]

ABP Keeping Britain Trading

Associated British Ports (ABP) announces today that it has completed the acquisition of W.E. Dowds (Shipping) Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 1960, Dowds is among the UK’s leading family-owned port operations businesses. The company operates a total of 10 separate warehouses with a combined area of over 50,000 sq m based at ABP Newport, South Wales.

James Cooper, Chief Executive of ABP, said: “ABP's acquisition of W.E. Dowds follows our long-established partnership with the Company at the Port of Newport."

W.E. Dowds (Shipping) Ltd Terminal at the Port of Newport W.E. Dowds Terminal at the Port of Newport

"The deal builds on Dowds' excellent track record serving the UK steel market, enabling the business to continue to grow by providing first class customer service."

"As such, the transaction will also help secure further growth and success for the Port of Newport for many years to come."

Matthew Kennerley, ABP Director, South Wales, said: “We’ve been working closely with W.E. Dowds for many years and the business is an important part of the Port of Newport’s success. We’re looking forward to welcoming our new colleagues and achieving even greater success in the future."

Charles Dowds, Managing Director of W.E. Dowds, said: "We have been pleased to work with ABP and its predecessor for over 50 years. Throughout that time ABP has demonstrated a strong commitment to the success of Dowds and the Port of Newport. The £4 million investment in the reconstruction of the Shed 5 facility is the most recent example."

“ABP's acquisition of Dowds demonstrates that their commitment to investment continues. We look forward to our future within the ABP family, which gives us an even more powerful platform to drive further growth."

About ABP

ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.

ABP contributes £7.5 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 119,000 jobs. Its current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.

ABP’s Port of Southampton is the UK’s largest export port, handling more than £40 billion of goods each year, with £36 billion of that destined for markets outside the EU.


  • Handles over 1.5 million vehicles every year
  • Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
  • Handles around 90m tonnes of cargo each year
  • Owns 5,000 hectares of port estate
  • Has 87km of quay

ABP’s five-year investment programme is worth £1 billion. Its investment is designed to respond to the needs of its customers whose business relies on its ports for access to international and, in some cases, domestic markets.

Bryony Gundy
Commercial & Communications Coordinator

Click here to view the Press Release Word Document

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W.E. Dowds (Shipping) Ltd

  • Family Owned & Established since 1960
  • Operation based at Associated British Ports Newport, South Wales, United Kingdom
  • 10 Separate Covered Warehouses with a combined area of over 50,000 sq m including rail Connected, Covered loading/Discharging Warehousing
  • External hard standing storage area of 8,000 square metres
  • All Warehouses are wirelessly linked to a central database and all customers have password protected access to information via the internet
  • Vessels of up to 40,000 DWT can be accommodated in Newport in 4 berthing quays

A Terrific Team Effort

This was how Clive Davies, Managing Director expressed his delight when it was announced by Lloyds Register LRQA that W.E Dowds (Shipping) Ltd had been approved to their OHSAS 18001:2007 Management system applicable to Port Operations, discharging of vessels containing Steel products (Coil & Long Product) and the Storage and handling of product prior to collection by clients.

OHSAS 18001 with UKAS

“We are one of the only UK Port Operations to have so far achieved this level of qualification and I am really proud of all our employees and sub-contractors who have worked extremely hard to achieve this accolade. The management of Health & Safety is important but what is more crucial in our line of business is the rolling out of that process throughout the company and this recognition is testimony that everyone is on board!

A sound Health & Safety culture has to be adopted by all employees… day in and day out and by gaining this recognition we as Directors can rest assured that everyone at W.E Dowds has bought into this practice and it is a credit to each one of them that this company has been awarded such recognition.”

Click here to view the Certificate Pdf

W.E. Dowds Goes Mobile

We have developed a new and exciting App for iPad and Android tablets, pictures and features about W.E Dowds (Shipping) Ltd which we felt might be handy for all our clients, both existing and prospective.

Download W.E.Dowds App from AppStore >>

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