ABP Keeping Britain Trading

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

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 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."

"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
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Specialist First Aid Training

Predicted Tide Values

Tabular data depicting the predicted tide times and accessibility of Cardiff docks on a day by day basis.
2021 2022

Tabular data depicting the predicted tide times and accessibility of Newport docks on a day by day basis.
2021 2022
Specialist First Aid Training

Specialist First Aid Training

Newport Dock workers recieve specialist first aid training thanks to St Johns Cymru Wales. Their trainers have devised a first aid course specifically for dock workers at W.E. Dowds (Shipping) Ltd. which is based at the city's Alexandra Dock.

The company manages the import and export of products from break bulk ships or intermodal container carrying transport through it's quayside warehouses, using cranes to load the products on to trains and trucks and unload from ships for customers on an international basis.

A Terrific Team Effort

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.

“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 (Shipping) Ltd. has bought into this practice and it is a credit to each one of them that this company has been awarded such recognition.”