As part of a £140m investment that will create 150 new jobs, Peel Ports is installing 22 extra cranes at its £400m Liverpool2 container terminal. Tony McDonough reports
Peel Ports has installed five new cranes at its Liverpool2 facility at the Port of Liverpool in the latest phase of a £140m investment.
Liverpool2, a deep water facility that can handle 95% of the world’s biggest cargo ships, was opened by Peel Ports in 2016 at a cost of £400m. Now it is adding a further 22 cranes in a project that will see the creation of 150 jobs.
In the last few days the five cantilever rail-mounted gantry (CRMG) cranes have arrived, ready-built, from Chinese manufacturer, Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co (ZPMC). They have travelled more than 1,831 nautical miles from Shanghai on a 46-day journey.
Each crane measures 35 metres in height with a weight of around 500 tonnes. Once completed, the site will have a total of eight STS and 22 CRMG cranes. They will provide additional capacity for growing volumes of cargo coming into the port.
Last month shipping giants Maersk and MSC revealed they were switching the UK call of their TA2 transatlantic container route from Felixstowe to Liverpool. This follows a decision by the companies switch their TA4 transatlantic route from the southern port to the Mersey in 2018.
Known as the 2m Alliance, their TA2 weekly service connects the North European ports of Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Le Havre and Liverpool to US east coast ports Newark, Baltimore, Norfolk and Savannah.
Peel Ports’ target is to have a fifth of the container traffic arriving at UK ports unloaded on the Mersey by 2025. David Huck, managing director, Peel Ports, said: “The dynamism and strength of the business gives us the confidence to continue to grow and invest.
“Throughout 2021, future-proofing will be at the forefront of our business model, driving forward with planned investments in our people, processes and technology. We are on course to achieve our ambitious growth plans to drive UK container market share to 20% by 2025.
“Liverpool2 is already one of the world’s most modern shipping terminals and we have no plans of slowing down any time soon. This recent delivery is testament to this and adds to three additional ship-to-shore cranes already delivered into live operations in December 2019.”
“As one of the most operationally efficient and modern terminals in Northern Europe, the deep-water terminal offers ‘future-proof’ facilities, giving global shipping companies reliable access to major import and export centres at the heart of the UK.”
Mr Huck added that the combination of Brexit-related changes and the impetus provided by COVID-19 has highlighted the vulnerability of supply chains to disruption, prompting a significant number of businesses to look at bringing more activity back to the UK.
“Working closely with the world’s leading shipping lines, we hope to encourage more services to the Port of Liverpool to help alleviate some of the pinch points on supply chains that have previously relied on Southern ports,” he explained.
“Improving supply chain resilience could help to support the UK Government’s levelling up agenda by rebalancing economic activity away from the south towards areas in the North.”
Peel Ports is working with its partner global terminal business, Terminal Investment Limited Sarl (TiL), on the expansions of Liverpool2. Work on this second phase of the landside project is expected to be fully completed in the summer 2021.