The largest containership to call at the Port of Liverpool arrived this week. The HS Paris is the first post-Panamax vessel to stop at Liverpool, and has a capability of carrying more than 6,500 shipping containers.
Previously, the Port of Liverpool’s existing container terminal could only accommodate vessels with a capacity of up to 4,500 shipping containers.
The HS Paris called at Liverpool using the new £400m Liverpool 2 deep water container terminal which opened in November, and increased the size of vessel that the Port can accommodate.
Post-Panamax is a desciption within the shipping industry for vessels that could not fit through the Panama Canal, a significant 48-mile waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, prior to its expansion last year. The original locks were 110ft wide, meaning that it couldn’t take wider, more modern ships.
While the new Liverpool 2 berth can accommodate the largest deep sea container vessels, take-up for use of the terminal has been slow. The berth opened a year late due to weather delays, and last month suffered a 10m-wide sinkhole, although according to Peel Ports this did not impact on operations.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports Group, said: “This is a huge milestone for Peel Ports and the Port of Liverpool. The whole team is delighted to welcome HS Paris to the city for the first time. While we have the capacity to handle vessels up to 20,000 TEU, smaller post-Panamax ships are still very much part of our overall strategy and it’s essential that can accommodate those too. We can now do that thanks to our £400m investment at Liverpool2, providing a shorter route to market for UK importers and exporters, which reduces their costs, congestion and carbon emissions.”
Peel Ports recently announced that it had secured 150 advocates for its ‘Cargo200’ initiative. The campaign calls on importers and exporters whose goods begin or end their journey in the North of the UK to switch delivery of ocean freight from South East ports to the centrally-located Port of Liverpool.
Peel has previously said it is hoping to increase Liverpool’s share of the UK container market from 8% to 20%.