Category Archives: Reidsteel

Southampton Container Port Visit

container-port-visitEmployees of REIDsteel recently visited Southampton docks for a tour of the container terminal hosted by DP World, who run the container port operations with its partner Associated British Ports (ABP) – They saw the continuing development of facilities at Southampton, including the new recently completed No 5 Berth, which can take the very largest container vessels in service anywhere in the world.

Between 70% and 80% of REIDsteel structures are exported through ports in the UK, such as Southampton.

The visitors from REIDsteel are all involved in the export of REIDsteel structures: despatch and shipping manager Ana Monti and despatch administrator Catherine Carey, who make the arrangements for export shipments and prepare export documentation; Ali Titcombe and Tim Cook from the commercial team; yard foreman Ian Hibbard, crane drivers Steve Marshall and Steve Frampton, who lead the loading of materials into the shipping containers at our factory in Christchurch; Luke Armes who travels to supervise off site loading activities.

REIDsteel’s shipping agents, Meachers Global Logistics were represented by Rob Lewis, Director for Freight Forwarding.

The group received a briefing on the activities of the port by DP World Southampton’s Commercial Manager Robert Freeman and met the operations manager, who explained the ship planning process; also how the arrival and departure of container ships is managed along with other port movements, such as the large numbers of cruise ships that now use the port of Southampton and the oil vessels berthing at Fawley refinery.

The group were then taken on a tour of the container port and shown the whole process from arrival of containers at the port by either road or rail: how the vehicle booking system (VBS) works; the auto-check-in; the security checks that take place; customs checks; how the trucks are directed to the correct area to off load; how the containers are handled by enormous straddle carriers and place in stacks, then picked and loaded by enormous cranes onto the ship.

The group were driven in a minibus down all five berths to see the ship loading/off loading activities close up. And the whole process is running in reverse too for handling incoming containers with goods being imported to the UK.

The enormity of the operation at Southampton has to be seen to be believed – On the day we visited there were over 34,000 TEUs (Twenty foot Equivalent Units) in the ‘stack’ at the port.

“How do they find the correct container and put it on the correct ship you might ask?” These days it is all done by GPS – The location of each container in the stack is recorded automatically by GPS as it is placed by the straddle carrier.

The company welcome the continued development at DP World Southampton in the hope that in the future more of the routes we need for export of our goods will be available from a local port, significantly reducing the number of road miles our goods have to travel when compared to shipment from other UK ports, such as Felixstowe, Tilbury and northern ports.

Main Contractors getting too busy to co-ordinate all the trades?

Many are reporting that  the construction industry is beginning to show signs of growth with more projects moving through planning and onto UK construction sites.

The downturn had caused a reduction in managerial construction staff with main contractors stream-lining the number of directly employed quantity surveyors, estimators, project and contracts managers to ensure they stayed afloat in the recent tough times.

Inevitably, with experienced  staff retiring and others looking outside of the construction industry to find stable employment, the industry as a whole will struggle to meet the demands of rising workloads.

This is increasingly leading to quantity surveyors and projects managers overseeing a number of projects at once, making it even more important that they choose sub-contractors who can provide not only quality on site but also in their management and off site work.

At Reidsteel our clients have seen the benefits of working with us and have entrusted us with the design, supply and erection of steelwork and cladding and glazing time after time.

All projects undertaken by Reidsteel have a team of no fewer than 10 staff managing the project from initial design to completion on site, meaning main contractors and clients need not worry about the complications and conflicts between steelwork, cladding and glazing as this is all taken care of at our works in Christchurch ensuring all interactions can be perfectly co-ordinated.

All elements of our work are discussed with our clients through one of our experienced Project Engineers who will co-ordinate all disciplines from tender stage through to completion of our works onsite.

Many of our staff, whether designers, draughtsmen, fabricators or erectors have been working at Reidsteel for the majority of their working life meaning they have unrivalled experience and knowledge of steel structures.

The luxury of Reid’s experience does not come at a premium, our skills help us to design incredibly economic and  efficient structures and also by combining the steelwork, cladding and glazing packages our clients avoid the risk of variations and conflicts between these trades, meaning the price which is quoted is the price paid.

For more information of how a project works the ‘Reid’ way please click here to see a short presentation.

If you have a project to discuss please contact us.


CE Marking and the Construction Industry – It’s the LAW

What does it mean? 

The CE mark originally stood for ‘Communauté Européenne’ which is French for ‘European Community’ and gives you the confidence that the product complies with the relevant manufacturing standard for that product.

Seen it before?

We all take for granted, the CE marking symbol on our electrical goods around our home, the kettle in our kitchen, the TV in our lounge. We can still remember Trading Standards appearing on consumer programmes warning us to check for the CE mark on the toys we bought for our children.



Trading Standards now have a new regulation to enforce, the Construction Product Regulation (CPR).

What does the CPR say?

It states that if a construction product is covered by a harmonised standard (hEN) or European Technical Assessment (ETA) and forms part of a permanent structure within the European Union then that product MUST be CE marked.

It is not voluntary but a legal requirement throughout the construction supply chain.

Failure to comply could result in suspension notices, prohibition notices, fines or even imprisonment.

When will it be enforceable?

 The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) became a legal requirement in July 2013 for construction products such as the steel material, structural bolts, cladding and windows etc. and then in July 2014 for fabricated steelwork that fall under the harmonised standard BS EN 1090, this covers steel and aluminum structures such as steel buildings, bridges, purlins/rails and stairs etc.

As a client/main contractor – how do I comply?

The client /main contractor should carry out due diligence and only appoint contractors that can provide evidence of compliance to ensure the products that need to be CE marked are and that the steelwork contractor has the correct Execution Class equal to that required for the project.

How can REIDsteel help the client/ main contractor?

REIDsteel is a design and build company with over 90 years of trading, successfully completing projects in over 145 countries.

We already hold the correct certification to demonstrate our right to CE mark and these certificates can be found HERE.

Our Factory Production Control (PFC) and our Welding certification allows us to design and build projects from Execution class one to four, four being the highest achievable class.

As REIDsteel provides a complete building package from the holding down bolts, steel structure, cladding, windows and doors, we have already vetted over 200 suppliers to ensure our products comply with the regulation.


Together with our certification for our Quality Management System ISO 9001:2008 you can be rest assured that you are in safe hands and staying on the right side of the law.

So what makes REIDsteel so different (stand out from the crowd)

We hold the key to your success, our in-house team.

The design, steel, cladding and glazing draughtsmen, together with certified responsible welding coordinator RWC (a legal requirement), skilled fabricators and erection teams are all employed by REIDsteel, we already know each other, we already know what each other needs and expects, we all get together at the start of the project and most importantly, we are all there at the finish.