Freight News, Sea

We’re ready and waiting, says port of Liverpool

[ October 9, 2018   //   ]

Peel Ports says its Liverpool2 deep-water container terminal is ready to help clear the growing backlog of imported goods into the country caused by IT problems in Felixstowe.

With retailers now importing stocks for Christmas rush and Black Friday on 23 November ,  Felixstowe, the country’s largest container port has suffered serious backlogs in cargo loading and unloading since June, after an unsuccessful roll-out of a new IT system. The situation shows little sign of improvement, says Peel, with incoming vessels currently be waiting at anchor offshore for six days.

There are also reports of knock-on problems at Southampton and London Gateway, it adds.

Booking haulage slots can currently take two weeks in Felixstowe and Southampton, says Peel, during which containers incur demurrage charges.

Peel argues that with about 60% of containers coming into UK ports destined for the West Midlands or further north, Liverpool is a more efficient port of entry  and would also remove an estimated one million trucks from the road each year, and more than 1,600 freight trains from the rail network, reducing related diesel emissions.

MSC and Maersk already use Liverpool2 and Liverpool has experienced an 8.7% year-to-date growth in all containerised traffic.

Chief executive of Peel Ports, Mark Whitworth said: “The arduous situation in the UK retail sector is well-documented. The last thing it needs is to be unnecessarily hobbled by a logistics crisis with no end in sight. This is an avoidable situation and we would urge shipping lines, forwarders and cargo owners, to talk to us about how we can get their cargo moving again rather than having to face a delay that shows no sign of abating.

“Peel Ports is ready to welcome cargo destined for the UK as well as shipments bound for international destinations from the UK, and we have ample capacity to do so. Liverpool2 was developed specifically for large deep-water cargo vessels. With a growing proportion of the UK’s logistics and warehousing facilities based in the North and the Midlands, there are multiple benefits to containers arriving in Liverpool.”

A number of Peel customers said they have move substantial parts of the operation to Liverpool. Freight forwarder Logiport says it has been using the port for some customers and has been pleased with the cost and time efficiencies –

Tool firm Einhell UK said it had transferred all containers from southern ports to the Port of Liverpool earlier this year, holding stock inside a third-party logistics warehouse and reducing shunting costs to only 12% of Southampton levels.

Stock is now available for picking the day after it arrives in the port compared to four in the south.

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