Feature, Freight News, Road, Sea

Esprit helps Heineken reach the parts of Manchester that trucks cannot

[ June 16, 2021   //   ]

Logistics operator Esprit has realised its ambition to use the Manchester Ship Canal to take heavy freight off the city’s streets. Its Trafford Docks terminal recently handled three large ships bringing project freight up the Ship Canal from destinations such including Croatia and Germany.

In late May, the Hendrik S brought three German-built 35 tonne silos from Rotterdam into the heart of city, destined for the Heineken factory in central Manchester. The silos left Esprit’s Trafford Docks, one each night at 01:00, escorted by four  police bikes and traffic car plus a wide load support vehicle. The four-mile journeys each took two hours, often travelling on the wrong side of dual carriageways in order to negotiate roundabouts and tight bends. Tram lines had to be lifted and street furniture temporarily removed.

In early June, the Eems Transporter brought another four silos into Trafford Park, again destined for the Heineken site. Another three nights of escorts and teamwork by Sarens Cranes, Finnie Heavy Haulage, GM Police, KeolisMetrolink, TfGM and Heineken, all under the management of Park Project Freight, saw everything again delivered safely and on time without causing any traffic disruption.

Immediately after the Eems Transporter left the berth, the Hendrik S returned to Esprit’s Trafford Docks, this time carrying a 128.5-tonne electricity transformer which had started its journey in Croatia as part of a larger consignment aboard the m/v Eems Servant. This transformer was then transhipped onto the Hendrik S in Liverpool for the final leg up the Manchester Ship Canal to Trafford Park.

Colletts Heavy Haulage was entrusted with project managing the big lift, using a 550 tonne strut-jib crane from Ainscough Cranes to transport the load to a site in Rochdale. This time the final leg of the journey by road left Trafford Park at 6am on Sunday morning, again requiring five police bikes and a traffic car plus a wide load support vehicle, travelling at 10mph for the short trip via the M60, M66, through Bury and into a particularly tight access site in Rochdale.

Esprit Group managing director Graham Dixon commented that had these huge oversize and overweight cargoes needed to travel to Manchester by road from a coastal port, the traffic chaos and congestion would have been immense. He added: “Thanks to companies such as Heineken recognising the great asset we have with the Manchester Ship Canal and choosing this as their preferred method of bringing oversize freight into Manchester, serious congestion was avoided and the much greener alternative was used.”

He concluded: “It’s vital we continue to use the Manchester Ship Canal as much as possible to ensure it remains open for freight. Esprit Warehousing & Docks, who operate the Trafford Docks in Manchester, and the canal owners Peel Ports are working closely together to identify new business opportunities for freight on the canal. So it’s fantastic to see this hard work from both companies bearing fruit.”