Port of Liverpool Posts Record-Breaking Monthly Container Volume

File image courtesy Peel Ports

Published Nov 21, 2019 5:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

UK container port operator Peel Ports announced that its terminal at the Port of Liverpool handled record-breaking volume in October, up by 12 percent relative to the same period last year. 

Peel Ports has also managed to reduce truck turn times at Liverpool. The average is now consistently below 40 minutes, the shortest in the UK. “The Port of Liverpool’s latest throughput figures prove that Peel’s focus on road haulage efficiency is working. Thanks to the infrastructure and processes in place at Liverpool, drivers are able to spend less time inactive and more time focusing on the safe, timely delivery of containers to customers across the UK," said Jon Whitely, managing director of drayage firm JWT Haulage. 

Liverpool is the closest-to-market container port for much of the UK, and it is expanding capacity to capitalize on its advantage. Together with Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), Peel Ports is developing a new terminal area called Liverpool2. The first phase opened last year, work is under way on the second phase and the full project is expected to be completed during 2021.

Market share

Liverpool received a boost last year due to software problems at competitor Felixstowe, which experienced significant disruption after introducing a new terminal operating system. The problems began in June 2018, and by mid-July it was experiencing significant declines in terminal productivity. The challenges at the terminal included "inaccurate data about the position of some containers in the yard," "rail misses," yard stacking arrangements that resulted in "unproductive [box] moves," and below-target vessel and rail loading performance. By late July, the port reported a return to 80 percent of prior productivity, but hauliers reported continued delays well into August. 

In response, Maersk and MSC shifted their TA4 service string from Felixstowe to Liverpool, and this January they decided to make the change permanent. "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.