Peel Ports’ £300m Liverpool 2 container terminal is due to be opened today by the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox MP, and will begin to handle the biggest cargo vessels in the world.
The new deep water facility will complement the Royal Seaforth Container Terminal at the Port of Liverpool, with each terminal having capacity to handle around one million containers each year. The Port is already the country’s biggest transatlantic port with a 45% market share, and the only major container port in the North or West of the UK.
Liverpool 2, which is one of the UK’s largest private sector infrastructure projects, was developed in response to changing trading patterns and shipping industry trends towards the use of ‘mega’ ocean-going container ships.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “Today marks the beginning of a new era for the Port of Liverpool. Our investment will help global shippers to transport cargo more efficiently to their end destination with lower costs, congestion and carbon emissions. Liverpool is in the right location, providing state-of-the art facilities and technology, and offers a real competitive advantage with a shorter supply chain and providing an all-water route right to the heart of the UK via the Manchester Ship Canal.
“Liverpool 2 will create a new trading gateway in the UK. We are already exploring and succeeding in creating new opportunities for UK exporters, having recently signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding to create a strategic alliance aimed at facilitating international trade and generating new business by promoting trade routes between Liverpool and the west coast of South America via the Panama Canal.”
Liverpool currently has around 8% of the container market in the UK. Peel is hoping this will rise to between 15% and 20%.