Peel Ports looks to grow its supply chain

Port of Liverpool owner Peel Ports issues call to Merseyside SMEs -‘come and join our supply chain’. Tony McDonough reports

Port of Liverpool
Port of Liverpool and Liverpool2 container terminal on the River Mersey


Peel Ports says its continuing growth and investment in net zero at the Port of Liverpool and other UK locations offers an opportunity for local firms to secure contracts.

Representatives from the UK’s second-biggest port operator addressed an audience made up of members of Mersey Maritime at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool’s northern docklands.

Jon Hassett, deputy port director at Peel Ports, along with his colleagues James Riddick, group head of supply chain, and Mark Hunter, senior sourcing manager, all spoke at the Mersey Maritime Face-2-Face event which takes place each month.

Opening the session, Jon Hassett, who oversees operations and engineering at the Port of Liverpool, Manchester Ship Canal and Heysham, outlined the scale of Peel Ports’ UK operations.

He started his working life with the Royal Navy and went on to have a successful career in logistics which included projects around the Olympics in Rio. He later worked in logistics in the automotive sector before joining Peel Ports in January 2023.

As well as the Port of Liverpool, Peel Ports owns and operates facilities at Heysham, Manchester Ship Canal, London Medway,  Clydeport, Great Yarmouth and a container terminal in Dublin. In March it acquired a bulk terminal on the Humber Estuary.

“Liverpool is one of the largest and busiest ports in the UK and sits on both sides of the River Mersey,” said Jon. “We have a long and illustrious history – 300 years – with the world’s first enclosed commercial dock.

“We handle a number of different commodities at the Port of Liverpool. It is much more than just containers. And there are 41 tenanted businesses based at the port.

“33% of our workforce live in the borough of Sefton and 80% live in the wider Liverpool city region. That represents 3% of the workforce in the city region working for Peel Ports.”

READ MORE: Peel Ports commits £600m to infrastructure projects

Jon added the maritime industry was a “driver for growth” and a catalyst for job creation”. And he said that for every £1 of business that comes through the port, £2.67 is generated in the wider economy.

In terms of employment, he explained: “We believe the port provides a diverse range of roles that suits all types of labour. You can be a crane operator, you can work in marketing, accounts, in supply chain.

“There are so many career opportunities now in the ports sector… we believe that the port provides long-term stability.”

Jon also said Peel Ports was committed to a strong ESG (environmental, social and governance agenda) with a commitment to diversity in its workforce and multiple investments to achieve its ambitions of being a net zero carbon operation by 2040.

Up next was James Riddick who outlined how Peel Ports works with its supply chain, where it spends its money and how suppliers can work with the Group across Merseyside and the rest of the UK.

“On the construction and civil engineering side there will be a series of opportunities and potential frameworks coming in the future on construction including warehousing, surfacing and general civils said James.”


Mersey Maritime
Peel Ports executives addressed a business audience at the Mersey Maritime event


He added Peel Ports works with hundreds of suppliers, both large and small and plays an important role in the local ecosystems within which it operates, with around 35% of its annual operational spend being with SMEs.

Continuing investment in new technology and innovation will be critical to Peel Ports’ net zero by 2040 commitment, James revealed. He said: “The technology we buy today may not be the technology we will use in 2040 and the future of fuels will be key to achieving our 2040 commitment.”

Mark Hunter then took to the stage to explain some of the more technical aspects of the procurement process and how suppliers can bid more effectively into tenders both for Peel Ports Group, and other regulatory sectors.

READ MORE: Peel Ports invests £28m in new Mersey warehouse

Drawing upon his experience, and providing insights, from both maritime and water industries Mark said: “The principles of transparency, equality and proportionality are key to regulated procurement and by working closer with suppliers, even in regulated processes we can improve our business performance and support wider supply chains”.

The main event was followed by a meet-the-buyer session where the Supply Chain team from Peel Ports met with both existing and prospective suppliers to discuss current and future opportunities across the Group including potential innovations and new services.

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