A feeder service from Southampton to the Port of Liverpool in June has exceeded expectations but B&M says a direct route from the Far East would be the ideal scenario. Tony McDonough reports
A new feeders service linking Southampton with the Port of Liverpool is proving a hit with retail giant B&M.
Launched in June, the weekly Yang Ming service from Southampton is now carrying 150 containers – three times more than originally expected – transporting mainly retail goods to distribution centres in the North West.
Now B&M, which has its main headquarters and distribution centre in South Liverpool is seeking a direct container service from the Far East to the Port of Liverpool. It says it would be prepared to bypass the south UK ports altogether if such a route was available.
Jerome Wildsmith, head of supply chain from B&M said: “Over the past few years, we have strengthened our relationship with the Port of Liverpool, importing increasingly larger volumes of cargo and developing a strong relationship with Yang Ming, who have offered an express feeder service into Liverpool from Southampton.
“We have recently increased out imports into Liverpool from 50% to 80% of our total cargo with a view to converting this into a permanent move. As we continue to grow the business we are keen to secure a direct Far East service into Liverpool.”
B&M operates more than 600 UK stores and enjoys annual sales of more than £3bn and is keen to make its supply chain more efficient, cutting costs and reducing its carbon footprint.
Yang Ming is a global shipping line headquartered in Taiwan, with offices around the world. It has a wide range of weekly services covering Asia, Europe, America, Australia and Africa. The company’s Simon Williams said the growth of the new service was “exceptional”.
And Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Port of Liverpool owner, Peel Ports, also said: “The evidence keeps building for why the Port of Liverpool should be seen as the natural choice for global imports and exports.”