Peel Ports has invested in a substantially larger vessel for its Manchester Ship Canal container service.
Current customers using the service include Kellogg's, Princes Foods and Kingsland Wine.
The move to the larger vessel, which operates on the UK's largest inland seaway, follows a similar upgrade in May 2012.
The new Coastal Deniz has a 260 TEU capacity, which equates to more than a 60% increase in capacity compared to the previous vessel.
By transporting significantly larger volumes of containers per sailing, Peel Ports says it will increase the value it offers to its customers whilst significantly decreasing their impact on the environment.
The Deniz will make up to four sailings a week between the Port of Liverpool's Seaforth container terminal and Irlam Container Terminal near Trafford Park in Manchester. The service will also make calls at Ellesmere Port.
Stephen Carr, head of business development at Peel Ports, said: "We know that our customers value efficiency and sustainability, and this upgrade is just one of a number of initiatives we are able to offer them alongside port centric warehousing and consolidation. It allows customers to reduce their carbon footprint in a cost neutral manner.
"The Deniz will move in the region of 20,000 containers in 2013. That's 20,000 fewer containers making the journey between Liverpool and Manchester by truck. In terms of carbon footprint that's a huge saving of around 1000 tonnes of carbon and 1.3m km of freight taken off UK roads every year.
"We are currently developing a series of mini ports and multi-modal logistics hubs at various locations along the length of the canal, which means our customers will be able to move their goods from anywhere in the world right into the heart of the UK without touching an inch of road tarmac."
Peel Ports has operated a container barge service along the canal since 2007. In 2009, the service handled 3,000 containers, a figure which had increased to 10,000 containers by 2011, and to 15,000 by 2012.
In addition to handling containers the Manchester Ship Canal handles over 7m tonnes of dry bulk cargo and petrochemicals every year.