Transport & Distribution

£300m port aims to revive Liverpool's glory days

Peel Ports is overseeing a £300m development of the Liverpool docks with the aim of reclaiming the city's heyday as a major entry point for container ships entering the UK. By the end of this year a newly dredged Mersey will flow into a new container port capable of handling all but the largest vessels. As part of a total £600m investment, the plan for Liverpool2, as the new port will be called, is to transfer significant volumes to smaller vessels which will travel 40 miles up the ship canal to a new Port of Salford and then on to the ten motorways to which Salford connects. The decision to invest was prompted by the widening of the Panama Canal, which will allow far larger vessels to come from the west, and Liverpool has an advantage over European rivals because Britain's west coast ports are not covered by the EU's sulphur emissions rules that prevent such vessels going into other ports. The city is also hoping to benefit from talk in the industry of Britain's logistics hub migrating from its traditional location around Rugby and Daventry to Salford and Manchester. Over ten years Liverpool plans to grab market share from Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway in Thurrock, Essex, which has just had a third deepwater berth approved. Peel Ports chief executive Mark Whitworth says they will double the number of containers that Liverpool handles to 1.5 million - about 40% of the total handled by Felixstowe. Liverpool2 is to install eight megamax gantry cranes, each capable of shifting 24 containers at once, and it is hoped the site will add a further 400 jobs to the 2,000-strong workforce currently at the port.


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