A new £400m container port capable of handling the biggest cargo ships in the world has opened in Liverpool, with the potential to take the pressure off the country’s road network.
The Liverpool2 shipping terminal was opened on Friday (4 November) by Dr Liam Fox MP, secretary of state for international trade.
Operators Peel Ports said the new port was one of the UK’s largest private sector infrastructure projects and was developed at a cost of £400m in response to changing trading patterns and shipping industry trends towards the use of ‘mega’ ocean-going container ships.
Cantilever rail-mounted gantry (CRMG) cranes at the port
The company said it will provide an 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’.
This catchment claim is based on an assessment that 58% of the UK’s population is closer to Liverpool than its competitor ports in the South -Felixstowe, London Gateway and Southampton.
Mark Whitworth, CEO of Peel Ports, said: ‘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.'
Dr Fox said: ‘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.’
Peel Ports said that Liverpool, which is the only major container port in the north or west of the UK, currently has around 8% of the container market in the UK - expected to rise to between 15% and 20% – and is already the country’s biggest transatlantic port, with a 45% market share.