A shortage of inland transport capacity and increased waiting times for lorries at ports in the south of England have brought an uplift in the volume of containers to the Port of Liverpool.
Over the last 12 months Metro Shipping has transferred several high-profile retail customers from Felixstowe and Southampton to Liverpool to realise the benefit of reduced inland haulage costs, especially for goods coming from the Far East and US. Metro Shipping handles over 80,000TEU per annum through the UK, both inbound and outbound, and works with various end users including international retail chains.
Owners of the Port of Liverpool, Peel Ports Group, expect further increased volumes over the next year as the shortage of adequate road and rail infrastructure space in the South continues to affect delivery patterns and drive up transportation costs.
It has been reported that some hauliers serving the southern ports of Felixstowe and Southampton are applying surcharges of more than £200 for short notice bookings. Increased deliveries are also possible to North-west destinations from the Port of Liverpool, with local transport providers managing up to four drops per day, compared with around four per week from southern ports.
Patrick Walters, Commercial Director of Peel Ports, said: “We believe that the Port of Liverpool will increasingly be seen as a preferred option as cargo owners discover the benefits of delivering their products and goods much nearer to their end destination. Liverpool’s location at the heart of the UK offers a distinct advantage, with over 65% of the population of the UK and Ireland living within a 150 mile radius of the city.
He added: “With high transport costs, increasing traffic congestion and limits to rail capacity, getting goods to market in the UK has grown increasingly complicated, more expensive and less carbon efficient. To be more cost-effective, carriers are looking to choose ports that follow the cargo destination rather than ports which follow their networks.”
Grant Liddell, Business Development Director at Metro Shipping, said: “We’ve recognised the benefit of Liverpool as a strategic hub for our North West and other northern clients, and have developed a proposition through the port which delivers cost reduction and greater reliability within the logistics element of customers’ supply chains.
“Not only does this ensure that our clients get their products closer to their distribution centres and target markets from arrival of containers, but Liverpool also provides a very high level of service, including swift container turnaround, added-value port centric benefits and stable transport from the port with a shorter end journey to the warehouse facilities.
“We will continue to promote Liverpool within our service range, especially with the investment now being made in the port to deliver the most port centric logistics hub in Europe.”
The Port of Liverpool is connected to other parts of the UK by 10 motorways within a 10 mile radius, numerous rail connections and the Manchester Ship Canal. The largest volume and density of large warehousing (over 97k sq ft / 9k sq m) of any UK region is located within a 70 mile radius around Liverpool and the Port is well served by Peel Ports’ own and third party feeder operators, providing direct connections to Southampton, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Le Havre.
Peel Ports is investing over £300 million in developing the new deep-water container terminal, Liverpool2. Over £100 million is being spent on eight ship-to-shore megamax quay cranes and 22 cantilever rail-mounted gantry cranes. The new 850m quay will be capable of handling the largest container vessels in the global fleet and ultimately will have a capacity of over one million TEU.
The fleet of STS and CRMG cranes will be supported by state-of-the-art quayside facilities and a fully-integrated best in class port and logistics solution, the Navis N4 system.
Liverpool2 will be open by end 2015.