Premier Engineering

GPS Marine

GPS Marine
Written by Roma Publications

GPS Marine

Elements of the GPS Marine fleet are found in ports and rivers throughout Europe on general towage operations and in support of marine civils, dredging and renewable energy projects.

Primarily, however, GPS Marine is a marine contractor in the South East of the UK and on the rivers Thames and Medway, where marine civil engineering and dredging contracting compliment the operation of a large fleet of tugs and barges. GPS Marine’s Thames fleet of tugs, hold barges, hopper barges and flat tops are engaged on contracts to transport concrete aggregates and spoil and also to support major dredging, civil engineering and infrastructure projects.

The business’ goal is to always provide added value and a complete service. GPS Marine offers total logistics support to its barge transport clients and can work to develop water transport opportunities through its network of contacts and by using its dredging and civil engineering capability to repair, convert or renew port infrastructure. When necessary and appropriate, GPS Marine funds infrastructure necessary to facilitate modal shift to water.

For water freight to meet clients’ demands in the 21st century, high levels of quality assurance, environmental performance, safety and operational durability must be inherent in all operations. Accordingly, GPS Marine is accredited by BSI in accordance with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and operates an audited documented safety management system accredited by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in accordance with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code.

GPS Marine ensures the durability of its operations by having in house bunkering capability and repair facilities including its own slipways, where mechanical and electrical engineering and steelwork repairs and renewals are undertaken.

Water transport has numerous environmental advantages. In particular, water freight creates significantly less CO2e per tonne kilometre than other modes of transport. Compared with road, water freight improves roadside air quality and, by reducing road wear, reduces emissions generated during road construction and maintenance. It is estimated that the average HGV causes up to 40 times the road wear of a family car.

GPS Marine is totally committed to reducing its environmental impact. In the Thames fleet, one tug is being retro-fitted with CRT and DPF built by Eminox, provided by the Thames Tideway Project, while another is being retro-fitted with an SCRT and DPF built by Industrial and Marine Silencers Ltd, part funded through the Clean Air Thames initiative by Cross River Partnerships. GPS Marine intends to use hydrogen treated vegetable oil (HVO) in its smaller vessels and has acquired a bunker barge specifically to enable this product to be delivered to its own vessels and to those of third parties.

Using HVO reduces NOx and SOx emissions, and in well to wake calculations is, according to official UK Government data, carbon negative. HVO is significantly more expensive than marine gas oil, but GPS Marine intends to offer its clients an option to stipulate the use of HVO on any contract as a means of improving environmental performance.

GPS Marine has provided water transport for Canary Wharf, The Medway Tunnel, The Jubilee Line, Crossrail Eastern Running Tunnels and the Northern Line Extension. It is currently working on the Central Section of the Tideway Tunnel project, where it is contracted to transport over 2 million tonnes of spoil and precast concrete tunnel segments. Although GPS Marine has commitments for future infrastructure work in London, the company is working with the Port of London Authority and others to re-open wharves in East, Central and West London to act as construction materials hubs.

Together with a logistics hub and other facilities located outside London, these hubs will enable construction materials to be brought in and waste to be transported away from London by barge. The proposed hubs will handle aggregates, palletised goods, containerised goods, structural steel, timber, roof trusses and precast concrete units inwards and bulk or containerised construction waste outwards.

To find out more, please visit

About the author

Roma Publications

Leave a Comment