Liverpool2 gears up for autumn opening
With marine trials planned for June and a formal opening scheduled for October, the UK’s latest deepwater container terminal, Liverpool2, is optimistic that it can lure business away from other UK ports.
“With four months to go we’re very excited and can’t wait for the keys,” Peel Ports port director David Huck told Port Strategy. “We’ve undertaken so much simulation and emulation that we’ve been ‘in it’ for 12 months already.”
Liverpool already counts many of the major shipping lines among its clients, including MSC, CMA CGM and Maersk, among others. “It’s not a case of attracting new customers as our customer base is quite strong, but we are aggressively looking for more market share and new service networks,” said Mr Huck.
He added that shipping lines have to be increasingly innovative in today’s cargo owner-led market.
Terminals, meanwhile, have to be closer to the market and end-users which Peel Ports plans to achieve through its Cargo200 initiative.
Launched in May last year, the initiative calls for importers and exporters whose goods began or ended their journey in the north of the UK, to switch delivery of ocean freight from south-east ports to the Port of Liverpool. Through the campaign, Peel Ports aims to cut freight mileage by 200m miles over the next five years. So far, over 100 shippers have signed up to the initiative.
Mr Huck added that another challenge for terminals today is the prospect of bigger peaks of volumes through calls from larger container ships.
“The key is in the landside technology and automation, so that’s where we have concentrated,” he said. Liverpool2’s fully automated cantilevered rail-mounted gantry cranes can work both the land and the quay with yard crane operators based in a logistics building 2 kms from the cranes. “If we get a higher density of cargo coming through we can flex to cope with that,” said Mr Huck.
On opening, Liverpool2 will have capacity for 1m teu.
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