PD Ports is a major port group operating across 10 locations connecting cargo and key global markets. Its commitment to safety comes second to none, being awarded consecutive gold status from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) two years running. Developing partnerships with customers is the foundation of PD Ports’ success, with reliability, innovation and customer service serving as pillars of the business.

Drew Reader, Mechanical Engineer, has been working with Ardent Account Manager, Jamie Whitham, in recent years ensuring the management and servicing of fire suppression systems across the company’s locations.

PD Ports


Customer Since

Ardent DualGuard System

The Challenge

When issues with a previous fire suppression provider disrupted business and raised safety issues, PD Ports conducted an in-depth review and tendered the business out to a range of companies, including Ardent, which fortuitously was located under an hour away from most of the company’s facilities.

PD Ports was seeking a highly responsive partner that understood the critical nature of health and safety on their sites. With many moving vehicles, hazardous materials often being shipped, and high-risk situations potentially commonplace, the company needed a partner that would work closely with them to take a zero-tolerance approach to health and safety standards, avoiding injury to operators as well as costly machine downtimes and repair costs.

PD Ports needed a reliable, responsible, and flexible fire suppression systems partner that could respond to the dynamic nature of the industry they operated in and identify and solve any further fire related health and safety issues on its mobile plant wherever possible.

In particular, Ardent working with the PD Ports team identified three key issues that required solutions:

  • Operators using machines were struggling to identify alarms due to the number of other alerts and sounds in the cabs, as well as ambient external noise.
  • On reach stackers, where fire protection systems included an electric isolation feature, machine doors would lock shut once the battery was isolated potentially trapping the operator.
  • Scheduling installations, servicing and maintenance was challenging due to the dynamic nature of a port facility.

The Solution

Ardent was successful in its tender offering a truly bespoke and comprehensive solution to PD Ports. Jamie was introduced to the company and quickly identified the company’s main requirements in terms of flexible servicing, fast response times and the ability to provide adaptive support through close account management and expert knowledge of fire protection. Jamie also worked with the Engineering Team to identify their challenges and concerns when it came to fire safety in mobile equipment.

  • To solve the problem of operators finding it difficult to identify the fire system alarm, Jamie worked with the operators to produce an audible verbal alarm that provided a clear fire alert that could easily be identified by operators. The implementation of the audible fire warning meant that even operators who were unfamiliar with the fire protection system could identify the meaning of the alarm and safely exit the machine.
    With respect to the issue of locked cabs once batteries were isolated, the Ardent team worked with the original equipment manufacturer to tailor a solution that ensured that machines fitted with the Ardent Electric Isolation feature did not lock the doors once the electrics were isolated.
  • Finally, the Ardent team understood that delays on ports are costly and so flexibility was key to PD Ports in working around their incoming ships and machine schedules. Jamie worked with the PD team to ensure Ardent’s installations, servicing and callouts catered to their needs and provided flexibility to accommodate changing work patterns at the sites.

Drew Reader comments: “With Ardent, all our machines are serviced twice a year and the engineer is always on time and completely flexible around our needs. No two days are the same at a port and we need our partners to work around us. We can’t always guarantee a machine will be available. Being only one hour away, the responsiveness of the Ardent team is fantastic. We get same day service if there is a fault alert, and they understand the challenges of our business completely.”

Jamie adds “It is clear that the welfare of PD Ports staff is of the utmost importance to them, and we are pleased to help provide the peace of mind that their machines and staff are well protected 24/7.  It's an absolute pleasure working with them and continuing to support their business. 

The Outcome

Today, Ardent is now the partner of choice for PD Ports. Our expertise in fire suppression from over 25 years of experience enabled us to offer a system that was tailored to the customer’s unique needs and gave them the confidence they needed that the right systems, working in the right way when needed, were in place.

Building a strong working relationship and understanding of PD Ports’ business has provided us with the opportunity to refine our service offering to excel in the areas they need us most. Reacting quickly and flexibly to callouts, as well as scheduling servicing around the machine schedules, are just some of the ways we show we care about PD Ports’ business and people as much as they do.

With Ardent by their side, PD Ports can continue to operate knowing that we are always ready when they need us.