19 December 2016
UK Secretary of State for International Trade officially inaugurates new deepwater facility
The Port of Liverpool’s new container terminal Liverpool2 has officially opened for business, adding capacity to handle an additional 1 million containers a year at the UK’s largest transatlantic port.
Peel Ports said its £400 million investment “will provide a state-of-the-art ocean gateway for UK importers and exporters with road, rail and canal connections linking directly to the heart of the UK mainland, accessing a catchment of over 35 million people, almost 58% of the UK’s population”. Liverpool2 was officially opened on Friday by UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox MP.
The new deep-water facility is intended to complement the existing Royal Seaforth Container Terminal at the existing Port of Liverpool, with each terminal having capacity to handle around 1 million containers per annum. The Port is already the country’s biggest transatlantic port with a 45% market share, and the only major container port in northwest England.
Peel Ports said Liverpool2, one of the UK’s largest private sector infrastructure projects, was developed in response to changing trading patterns and shipping industry trends towards the use of ‘mega’ ocean-going container ships. Liverpool2 will now be able to handle the biggest cargo vessels in the world.
Mark Whitworth, CEO of Peel Ports said: “Today marks the beginning of a new era for the Port of Liverpool. Our investment will help global shippers to transport cargo more efficiently to their end destination with lower costs, congestion and carbon emissions.
“Liverpool is in the right location, providing state-of-the art facilities and technology, and offers a real competitive advantage with a shorter supply chain and providing an all-water route right to the heart of the UK via the Manchester Ship Canal.”
He continued: “Liverpool 2 will create a new trading gateway in the UK. We are already exploring and succeeding in creating new opportunities for UK exporters, having recently signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create a strategic alliance aimed at facilitating international trade and generating new business by promoting trade routes between Liverpool and the west coast of South America via the Panama Canal.”
Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox said: “Exporting is vital to the economic health of our nation. This investment at Liverpool2 will boost crucial cargo capacity, create local jobs and is yet another sign that the UK is open for business with the world. Liverpool is ideally located to increase our trade with countries west of the UK, including the US, Canada and South America, and this new port opens up even more opportunities with new markets and export destinations for UK businesses.”
Liverpool currently has around 8% of the container market in the UK. This figure would be expected to rise to between 15% and 20%, Peel Ports said.
Gary Hodgson, Chief Operating Officer of Peel Ports, commented: “Being able to compete on the scale offered by Liverpool2 is only one aspect of how we’re transforming the port. Our real driving force is a commitment to customers, whether shipping lines or cargo owners, and helping them to achieve their business vision.
“As well as investing in the infrastructure and technology, we’re providing a more integrated service to our customers, whether that’s at the quayside, through port-centric logistics facilities or our wider network of ports.”
The new expanded port facility will create an estimated 5,000 jobs direct and indirect jobs, stimulate further growth in the North-west and help to rebalance the UK economy, Peel Ports said.
The terminal construction has seen a site of around 16 hectares reclaimed from the sea. There is a new 854m quay wall and land created from 5.5 million tonnes of sand and silt dredged from the Mersey. The site is large enough to accommodate the stadiums of all four major Liverpool and Manchester football clubs, Peel Ports said.
The site currently has five ‘megamax’ ship to shore (STS) transfer cranes and 12 quayside container handling cranes (known as CRMGs). Ultimately there will be another three STS cranes and 10 CRMGs, which alone have cost £100m, Peel Ports said.
The apex of the STS cranes is 92m – four metres short of the height of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben clock tower). When the boom is raised, it is more than 130m high.
Peel Ports said the 112km radius around Liverpool has the largest volume and density of large warehousing of any UK region. More than 28% of the UK’s large warehousing is located in that area.
The North-west has seen a number of significant investments in supply chain warehousing, including warehouses to serve Waitrose, Aldi, Poundland, B&M, Matalan, Missguided, and many others, Peel Ports said.
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