OOCL has confirmed it will be moving its new transatlantic container vessel OOCL St Lawrence into the £750m Liverpool2 deep water container terminal. Tony McDonough reports
Global sea transportation giant Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) is the latest operator to give a vote of confidence to the Port of Liverpool.
OOCL has confirmed it will be moving into Liverpool2, the Port of Liverpool’s deep-water container terminal. This will be the first step to accommodate a new Panamax vessel, OOCL St Lawrence for the Europe–Canada trade.
OOCL St Lawrence, which is 294 metres long and has a capacity of 5,024 TEUs, will replace OOCL Belgium, which is 245 meters long and has a capacity of 2,992 TEUs. It arrived in the Mersey on September 29.
Based in Hong Kong, OOCL operates in 70 countries and operates 59 vessels. It has confirmed that Liverpool2 will be a permanent call, as part of a rotation including Montreal, Bremerhaven, Antwerp and Le Havre.
The company says Liverpool2, operated by Peel Ports, has the ability to support its strategic plan for future growth. It called it “one of Europe’s most advanced container terminals”.
Terry Brant, general manager operations, OOCL, said: “OOCL has worked closely with Peel Ports over the past 40 years, and sees this new move as a key enabler to help strengthen our overall position in the market. In doing so, it will enable OOCL to continue to play an influential role in offering more competitive and best-in-class services to our customers.”
Liverpool2 cost Peel Ports £750m and was opened at Seaforth in 2016. It is capable of accommodating the world’s largest container vessels. This future-proofs the facility to allow global shippers such as OOCL, ‘ship-to-door’ access to major import centres at the heart of the UK.
David Huck, managing director of Peel Ports, added: “As a valued partner of over 10 years, we are delighted to be able to accommodate OOCL’s new and growing requirements.
“We’ve seen how ports are key enablers of the UK’s supply chain. Despite the recent challenges facing the economy, we’ve forged ahead with our programme of diversification and growth across the business through investments in infrastructure and technologies. And by strengthening relationships with existing customers such as OOCL”
Peel Ports and TiL’s joint venture which includes the multi-million pound expansion at Liverpool2, will increase capacities and support increased demand for container imports. This will allow it to increase its share of the container market by 15% to 20% in Liverpool by 2025.
The terminal is capable of handling up to two 13,500TEU vessels simultaneously and eliminates up to 200 miles of road or rail transport per container journey.