Shipping duo combine to offer faster American service

Shipping lines Atlantic Container Line and BG Freight Line, and Peel Ports, agree deal at the Port of Liverpool to offer importers and exporters faster access to North America. Tony McDonough reports

Atlantic Sun
Atlantic Sun, a container vessel owned by Atlantic Container Line


Atlantic Container Line (ACL), BG Freight Line (BGFL) and Peel Ports have agreed a deal to work together at the Port of Liverpool to offer faster transatlantic freight services.

Vessels from both companies already regularly call at the Port of Liverpool, using the Liverpool2 deep water terminal. ACL’s huge container ships link the US and Canada with Liverpool while BGFL regularly sails to and from Dublin and Belfast and the Mersey.

This new agreement will see the BGFL Liverpool-Ireland service being upgraded later in May. It means importers and exporters in Ireland and Northern Ireland can access North America via Liverpool rather than other European ports.

This will significantly improve transit times and reliability due to additional spare time in the schedule. ACL’s schedule – with Liverpool as first port into Europe and last port out of Europe – gives it the fastest transatlantic service to/from the UK and Ireland.

Liverpool is the closest deep sea port to both Dublin and Belfast. Continental ports are three to four times further away. 

Liverpool requires one day fewer steaming to/from Dublin and 1.5 fewer days to/from Belfast. Less time reduces fuel and costs meaning it also uses less fuel.

ACL and BGFL have agreed to coordinate their schedules to minimise connection time at Liverpool. BGFL will arrive in Liverpool immediately after the incoming ACL eastbound ship and immediately before the departing ACL westbound ship.

Liverpool is giving ACL and BGFL berth and crane priority on this new service to ensure smooth connections every week.

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This first eastbound sailing for this new service will be Atlantic Sun, sailing New York, May 10, Baltimore, May 13, Norfolk, May 14, Halifax, May 16. It will connect in Liverpool with JSP Anna, arriving Dublin, May 26 and Belfast, May 27.

First westbound sailing will be JSP Anna, departing Belfast, May 27 and Dublin, May 31, connecting in Liverpool with Atlantic Sea, arriving Halifax, June 3, New York, June 5, Baltimore, June 8 and Norfolk, June 10.

Swedish-based ACL has a long connection with the Port of Liverpool. Its vessels have been operating in the Mersey for 57 consecutive years.

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