Peel Ports Mersey expansion

Peel plans Liverpool freeport expansion

Peel Ports has submitted plans for phase two of a multi-modal logistics hub at the Port of Liverpool which will add 400,000 sq ft of warehousing.

The application covers the second part of the Liverpool Intermodal Freeport Terminal (LIFT) following the successful letting of the 600,000 sq ft first phase. Occupants in the first phase include RH Group, Christian Salvesen and Stanton Grove.

If built, the latest warehousing will take the total at the port to 4m sq ft. The application to Sefton council details distribution units ranging from 70,000 sq ft to more than 200,000 sq ft and served by sea, rail, road and inland barge.

Two of the units will be directly linked by rail, taking advantage of the planned hike in the Port of Liverpool's rail traffic capacity from December 2008.

The Port of Liverpool handles 34m tonnes of freight annually from over 100 countries. An average of 15 trains a day visit its five railheads, moving containers, steel, coal, forest products and scrap metal for recycling. Under the Government's Transport Innovation Fund, an abandoned stretch of track known as the Olive Mount Cord will be reopened to remove the need for trains to shunt across Liverpool's busy Edge Hill junction and will enhance rail capacity.

The Port has also become the international hub at the deepsea end of a container barge shuttle service between Liverpool's Royal Seaforth Terminal and the Irlam Terminal on the Manchester Ship Canal – an initiative launched in association with Tesco to provide a cost effective, environmentally friendly route into the central North West.

Pending planning approval in the New Year, construction is expected to be completed in 2009. Discussions are under way with potential users.

Frank Robotham, Peel Ports marketing director, said: "Completion of the LIFT project is just one element in the long term expansion plan for the Port of Liverpool as the North and North West's natural, cost effective gateway to world sea routes.

"This expansion takes our warehousing capacity to four million square feet and anticipates an acceleration of demand for logistics platforms adjacent to our proposed Post Panamax Terminal we plan to put into operation during 2011.

"Every tonne of cargo handled through Liverpool reduces road haul miles across Britain's congested roads and makes its own contribution to securing a greener environment. It also gives the great swathe of Northern England international access without dependency upon south coast ports."

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