Peel Ports has announced that it is in advanced contract discussions with both a rail provider and shippers, with the aim of running the first services for its customers before the end of 2017.
This will represent the first time Peel Ports has offered an integrated package, giving shippers a seamless route to market from quayside to any UK destination served by major rail lines, or vice versa.
The potential impact on warehouse occupiers, logistics operators and those charged with satisfying their property requirements could be significant. The port already has an operational rail terminal, which is used to supply biomass to the Drax power station in Yorkshire, among other uses. The port is 25 miles from the West Coast mainline.
Peel said that the available train path capacity directly to and from the Port of Liverpool is currently amongst the highest of all major ports within the UK.
The proposed service was presented this week at a London International Shipping Week event, a key event for operators in logistics, warehousing and supply chain efficiency.
Gary Hodgson, strategic projects director at Peel Ports, said: “This is the next step in our journey to provide shippers with a more integrated, end-to-end answer for their cargo needs.
“It’s also an important milestone in our evolution as a company and underlines how serious we are about being a genuine partner in the supply chain community.”
Adding to the recent calls form civic figureheads to prioritise the improvement of east-west rail infrastructure, Hodgson added: “There are generally good connections north and south, but cross-country is a real problem. It’s long overdue that the east-west infrastructure was brought into the 21st century so we can expand rail freight usage and reduce the impact of longer-distance road haulage.”
Jerome Wildsmith, head of supply chain at retailer B&M, added: “Good value is at the heart of our consumer offering so a flexible and lean operation is critical to our business model.
“Routing through the Port of Liverpool has already saved us the equivalent of four million road miles. We are excited about the possibilities that this new service will provide our business for achieving even more efficiency gains for our growing operation.”