Feature, Freight News, Sea

Scotland welcomes first-ever box ship from China

[ September 1, 2022   //   ]

Scotland’s first-ever direct container service from China and Scotland berthed at Greenock Ocean Terminal on Saturday 27 August.

The service – a partnership between KC Liner Agencies, DKT Allseas and China Xpress – transported imports including textiles, furniture, and toys for the Scottish market from Ningbo while thousands of cases of whisky formed the return cargo back to China.

Clydeport director at Peel Ports, Jim McSporran, said: “It’s great to finally welcome this vital service to Greenock Ocean Terminal.

“Our terminal is the perfect fit for such a global trade connection, and this is again shown by the significant volumes we will be helping ship back to China.

“We believe this partnership will prove to be a hugely positive development for businesses and customers, as well as boosting the wider supply chain, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners on this service in the coming months.”

KC Group Shipping managing director, David Milne, said: “We knew China Xpress was a service needed by many sectors, but still, we’ve been amazed at the level of immediate interest. It’s been a phenomenal success for KC Group Shipping, but this is just the first of many journeys and we need the support of Scottish importers and exporters to safeguard the long-term future of this new service.

“Our direct trading link to China cuts through frustrating transhipment delays which is a massive boost for Scottish businesses, and can only help consumers in these difficult times.

“We’ll be toasting the success of over 1 million bottles of Scotch whisky being traded from the first vessel alone, and we’ll raise a glass to all the other businesses which will also benefit.

The direct sailings will significantly reduce transit times, compared to feeder services via continental Europe or other southern UK ports.

Three sailings will take place per month in each direction, calling at Ningbo and Shenzhen, before arriving in Greenock via its Liverpool. The route will be operated by six ships of about 1,600TEU.

Peel Ports recently announced it will install two new cranes at Greenock Ocean Terminal in the largest single investment made at the container terminal since it opened in 1969.