Steel market expanding through Mersey

Peel Ports reported a 75% year-on-year increase in steel volumes handled so far in 2011 at the Port of Liverpool.

The port operator said the increase has been aided by a £1.5m investment in infrastructure and the creation of a new senior management role dedicated to metals.

In the year to date the port has brought in 250,144 tonnes of steel compared with 142,633 tonnes for the same period in 2010. It is estimated that by the end of 2011 total steel tonnage through Liverpool will have reached 300,000 tonnes, an increase of 113,000 tonnes from 2010.

Roy Merryweather was appointed business development manager for metals in April 2011. Merryweather said: "We are encouraging owners of cargo bound for the North West and Midlands to bring it in via Liverpool to enjoy the lowest onward cost and these figures show that businesses are receptive to that offering.

"We are also enjoying positive feedback and new business from companies in and around the Liverpool and Manchester area and there is more growth potential to target.

"The growth in steel volumes has not only been in bulk shipments, but also in containers and as such we have invested in additional handling equipment for de-stuffing steel products out of containers."

Also in April, a new Liebherr harbour mobile crane with 82 tonne capability arrived at the port, taking the total number in the Peel Ports Mersey fleet to eight.

Gary Hodgson, managing director of the Port of Liverpool, said: "We are absolutely delighted with our performance in steel volumes this year. When you consider that the UK market indicates 5% growth year on year, then you can see that these results are hugely encouraging indeed."

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