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2M Makes Permanent Service Shift from Felixstowe to Liverpool

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By The Maritime Executive 2019-01-17 12:53:30

Maersk and MSC have decided to make the temporary shift of their TA4 service from Felixstowe to Liverpool into a permanent schedule change, the Port of Liverpool confirmed this week. The 2M Alliance partners first moved the call last July due to the software-driven disruption at Felixstowe. 

"The change we made on this service has worked for us and our customers so it makes business sense to continue it," said Dan Everitt, managing director for MSC UK. 

When Hutchison Ports deployed its proprietary nGen terminal operating system (TOS) software at Felixstowe in June 2018, it experienced significant declines in port productivity. The system's troubles included inaccurate data about box locations and unproductive stacking arrangements, leading to below-target rail and vessel movements. Due to these delays in service, shipping lines were reportedly canceling calls or leaving early before all boxes were loaded. A shortage of hauliers and long terminal turn times further compounded these problems for carriers and forwarders.

To avoid these issues, the 2M Alliance relocated its TA4 service to Liverpool in July 2018. In November, facing continued issues with haulage at Felixstowe, it moved one more service (AE7) to London Gateway in order to avoid “unexpected disruption." TA4 will now remain permanently in Liverpool. 

“The tide is clearly turning in Liverpool’s favour as shipping lines and their customers see the evidence for how our location can benefit the whole supply chain. The south-east has congested ports, an acute haulier shortage and major concerns about the impact of Brexit on continental trade," said Peel Ports chief executive Mark Whitworth in a statement.