The 2M shipping line alliance has confirmed that Liverpool will become a permanent call on its TA4 service connecting Europe with several US ports.
The move follows the introduction of a temporary call in July 2018 resulting from continued disruption at the Port of Felixstowe.
The service is currently used to export UK cargo such as food produce and retail, but also is attracting interest for trade in manufacturing and industrial goods.
Mark Whitworth, Chief Executive of Peel Ports said: “The tide is clearly turning in Liverpool’s favour as shipping lines and their customers see the evidence for how our location can benefit the whole supply chain. The south-east has congested ports, an acute haulier shortage and major concerns about the impact of Brexit on continental trade. The logistics business is naturally risk-averse, especially in these unprecedented times, but it’s clear that the rewards are there for those prepared to take bold moves.”
One of the companies using the service is YKK (U.K.) Ltd, the global manufacturer of zips and industrial fastenings, for refilling spools of metal in the US which are then returned to its Runcorn facility for making into specialist automotive parts used around the world.
Paul Kelly, Supply Chain Manager for YKK (U.K.) Ltd said: “The solution streamlines our supply chain, reducing mileage, carbon usage and costs. Working with Peel Ports, MA Logistics and MSC, we’ve been able to use the proximity of Liverpool to our Runcorn base and this new transatlantic service to benefit both the environment and our operations.”
Asbjorn Kops, Trade and Marketing Director of Maersk said: “Switching our transatlantic service temporarily to Liverpool allowed us to maintain our comprehensive UK offering with a wide range of connections to our global network. Based on demand and interest from businesses across the North West we are pleased to be making this change permanent.”
Dan Everitt, Managing Director of MSC UK said: “MSC has been connecting Liverpool to global routes since 2001 and the Port of Liverpool is an integral part of our UK logistics network. The change we made on this service has worked for us and our customers so it makes business sense to continue it.”
Earlier this year Peel Ports introduced a rail freight service directly from the Port of Liverpool in partnership with DB Cargo. It is now the only major UK container terminal to offer tri-modal connectivity, with road, rail and water, the Manchester Ship Canal, plus short-sea shipping.