Port’s steel facility upgrade completes

Peel Ports claims to have opened the UK’s first fully-automated steel terminal at the Port of Liverpool following a £9m upgrade to the 360,000 sq ft facility.

David Huck, port director of Peel Ports, said: “This is very exciting and significant milestone for Peel Ports because it puts us at the leading edge of steel storage and distribution. The facility will revolutionise the efficiency of the UK steel supply chain as no other port in the UK is currently able to offer a comparable service. Along with our close location to UK manufacturing bases we believe this investment will provide significant cost and other supply chain benefits to our customers.”

Liverpool is the closest deep sea port to the West Midlands, where approximately half of the UK’s steel is consumed.

Located at the Port of Liverpool’s Canada dock, the terminal features a fully automated warehouse and interactive customer web portal, which mean customers will have round-the-clock instant access to the ordering process. Real time stock availability, precision coil selection and a vehicle booking system will give customers best value by minimising back office processing and paperwork, handling, and haulier turn-around time. The terminal also includes an automatic weighing facility and instant customer reporting means that customers will be able to track their order real-time from ship to door.

Supporting the investment is a new partnership with major logistics company Denholm Handling. Kieran Hall, commercial director, said: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Peel Ports, bringing our warehousing, distribution and handling expertise at the Port of Liverpool under a shared and integrated customer service platform. The inevitable rise in steel imports means there will be increased demand for both space and efficiency which this new terminal will offer.”

There is 80,000 tonnes of capacity within the automated coil facilities and a total throughput capacity of 500,000 tonnes annually. There is 11.5m draft water alongside. A similar development is also confirmed for Peel Ports’ other steel terminal at the port of Sheerness in South East England.

Meanwhile, Peel Ports said the delayed Liverpool2 mid-river container terminal will open in October. The £300m facility was due to open in December 2015 but hit a series of construction and engineering snags. Liverpool2 features a new quay wall, 16 hectares of reclaimed land, eight ship-to-shore quay cranes and 22 cantilever rail mounted gantry cranes, and associated supporting infrastructure works.

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I have no doubt this facility will be state of the art and ease the import of 50% of Britain’s steel requirements.

I wonder what the workers at Port Talbot think about this project?

By Gordon McCann

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