Owner of the Port of Liverpool Peel Ports has announced a new freight service that will see more giant container vessels coming into the Mersey. Tony McDonough reports
A new freight service that will see giant container ships bringing food and goods from France to Liverpool on giant container vessels has started operations.
Containerships, part of the global CMA CGM shipping group, is now operating vessels between Dunkirk in northern France, Bristol and the Port of Liverpool. The weekly services will run from Monday to Friday.
It means the Port of Liverpool will provide a new gateway for food and other goods to reach retailers in the north of England. The Friday arrivals in the Mersey means produce can be in the shops by Monday morning. The service avoids the growing congestion at southern English Ports.
The route is the latest in a series of wins for Port of Liverpool owner Peel Ports which is aiming to grow the River Mersey Terminal’s share of the UK container market by 15% to 20% by 2025. In recent month the port has secured new routes from North America and the Iberian peninsula.
In January Peel took delivery from China of five new cranes for its Liverpool2 facility in the latest phase of a £140m investment. It is adding a further 22 cranes in a project that will see the creation of 150 jobs.
Peel Ports, believes the French route will help minimise the impact of external pressures faced by supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic and changes which have come into effect following the recent Brexit deal agreement.
David Huck, managing director, Peel Ports Group, said: “The new service from Containerships is recognition of the need to ease congestion in southern ports closer to the EU border and ensure minimum lead times for their customers.
“The impact of Brexit and COVID-19 continue to highlight the vulnerability of supply chains to disruption and the need to improve supply chain resilience. We continue to work closely with the world’s leading shipping lines to encourage more services to the Port of Liverpool and help to alleviate some of the pinch points on supply chains that have previously relied on goods to enter and exit the UK via the South East.”
“We are now moving forward with our plans for 150 new skilled jobs on Merseyside off the back of further business growth. The addition of another new service connecting our port with mainland Europe is the result of our continued investment and helps to further position Liverpool front and centre on the global trading stage.”
Rob Waterman, chief executive of Containerships, added: “As a customer-centric company, we are always looking for new ways to provide our customers with differentiated services, fast transit times and efficient access to their inland destinations.
“Our new DUNK route, connecting Liverpool and Bristol in the UK with Dunkirk in France, gives suppliers on the continent direct access to businesses in the north of the UK. The Port of Liverpool is ideally located, perfectly connected via road, rail, and sea to the rest of the UK.”