Forth Ports Group

Forth Ports was established in 1967 as a Port Authority and through continued investment and acquisitions we have grown to be the 3rd largest port operator group in the UK.

After more than four decades of operation, in 2011, Forth Ports was acquired by Arcus Infrastructure Partners and later, in 2011, PSP Investments took a financial stake in Forth Ports Limited.  In October 2018, PSP bought all Arcus shareholdings in Forth Ports to become the primary shareholder ahead of bringing in a number of co-investors.

Investment has always been and remains a core strategy for Forth Ports. Our continuous commitment to investing for the future has positioned Forth Ports as a market leader in supporting major and specialist projects for customers across a vast array of industries, adding real value in the process.  Now with over 1,100 employees, Forth Ports Group has grown to be a major UK employer, key contributor to the national economy, and trusted partner to an ever-increasing number of industry leading customers.  Our ports assist in developing logistics flows across the UK and support many key industries.

If you would like to understand more about our ports and services please visit the Forth Ports Corporate Website

Forth Ports at a glance:
41 million tonnes of cargo handled
8 ports across Scotland and England
Contributing £950 million economic value
3rd largest UK port operator
Home to London’s largest port
Home to Scotland’s largest port
Investing over £1billion
1,100+ employees
Statutory harbour authority for the Forth and Tay

Forth Ports Procurement

Our procurement processes are fair, transparent and free from any bias or discrimination. All potential suppliers are provided with equal opportunities to compete for business and selection decisions will be made objectively, using predefined criteria.

We manage our supply chain respectfully and transparently.  Using ethical suppliers and contractors is integral to the success of our business and our commitment to achieving our environmental, social governance and energy objectives.

How we do business with you

Suppliers/contractors are required to complete the business evaluation process which is managed by the Procurement team.

You will be asked to complete our online vendor management evaluation process which provides us with the details needed for you to be an approved supplier.

This will include:

  • Bank name, account number and sort code. Where the bank account name, or the country where the bank account is held, differs from the trading name and address, please ensure full explanation given as to why
  • Full trading address
  • Employers, public & product liability insurance certificate
  • Policy documentation on health and safety, environmental and energy management
  • Unique taxpayer reference (10 digit number) or overseas equivalent
  • VAT number
  • Relevant company policies
  • Agreement to our standard terms and conditions
  • Business ethics commitment
  • Request for supporting information – we will require copies of any accreditation certificates e.g. ISO 9001/18001/45001/500001 and details of your quality assurance organisation and
  • Security vetting

We will also require proof of competency which can include documents such as member association certificates, training and work experience certificates and we may require key personnel CV’s.

If you are a contractor working on any Forth Ports Limited site within Scotland you will be required to complete all details in line with constructionline and be SSIP accredited. For further information prior to application please visit

How we buy from you

We will issue you with an electronic purchase order which is automatically generated from our purchase to pay system. No verbal order numbers will be given.

Purchase orders must be in place prior to any work commencing or goods being delivered.   We operate a strict no po, no pay policy and any invoice received without a purchase order number will be returned unpaid.

All orders must be acknowledged to the Procurement department within 24 hours.

Each purchase order will have a unique number. It is imperative this number is quoted on your invoice to ensure a smooth purchase to pay process.  Any invoice received without an order number will be returned to you unpaid.

Please ensure the invoice you are submitting correctly matches the purchases order. Any charges over and above the purchase order will be referred back to you. Ensuring the invoices and PO match will ensure prompt payment to you.

Terms and Conditions

All purchase orders/contracts are based strictly on Forth Ports Limited terms of business for goods and services or small works.

Any separate contractual agreements must be channelled via Procurement for negotiation and can only be signed off by the Group Company Secretary and Executive Director at Forth Ports Limited.

All terms and conditions can be found on our Resources page.

View our Resources page for all other policies which form part of the terms and conditions, which include those listed below:

  • Safety rules for contractors
  • Safety rules for visitors
  • Company policy on drugs and alcohol
  • Company policy on security
  • Business ethics and conduct policy
  • Criminal Facilitation of Tax Evasion Policy

Performance of the Purchase Order

The agreed delivery date of goods and start date of the works detailed on the purchase order must be adhered to and if a postponement is required this must be communicated to the procurement department in no less than three working days.

Prior to commencing work on site an access permission form must be obtained and all staff must undertake an induction.

If you are working within an ISPS restricted zone you will be required to complete an ISPS form which can be obtained from the ISPS Office. Additional checks will be required and therefore you will be asked for evidence of photographic ID.

Our personal protective equipment policy stipulates you must wear a minimum level of PPE which is protective safety footwear with mid-sole and toecap, hi-visibility garments and hard hats. Please observe local signage for more details and additional PPE may be required such as protective eye wear and life jackets if working within 1 meter of the quay edge.

Working hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm. If you envisage working outside of these hours you must obtain prior authorisation to do so.


Your invoice

To enable us to pay you promptly and to the agreed purchase order terms and conditions we will require you to submit your invoice with some key information. 

When submitting your invoice please include the following information as a minimum:

  • Our purchase order number (one per invoice)
  • Quantity, unit of measure, price and currency
  • Description of the goods and/or services you have delivered/carried out
  • Your company name, address and VAT registration number
  • Your contact details in case we have a query
  • Quote reference number if applicable
  • UK VAT amounts must be stated in GBP even where invoice is in foreign currency

Please note if the above information varies from the information on the purchase order, this is likely to cause a delay in matching your invoice, and hence a delay in payment.

If you have provided your goods / services, and we are unable to process your invoice for payment, we will notify you of the action required.


Once we receive your invoice, and the goods/services have been received, we will match the purchase order, invoice and goods receipt note/confirmation of services. When these have been matched, payment will be released.

We pay invoices electronically by BACS, and will email a remittance advice to you.

If you do not receive payment, please email our Accounts Payable Team.  The team will then investigate and advise reason for non-payment.

If your services are construction operations under the Construction Industry Scheme then we may be required to withhold tax from the payment depending on your CIS sub-contractor status.