Manchester Ship Canal box throughput increases fivefold in three years
Peel Ports' barge service that operates between Liverpool and Manchester via the Manchester Ship Canal has seen its handling volumes grow from 3,000 containers in 2009 to an expected 15,000 this year, representing a five-fold increase. Saturday, 23.Jun.2012, 03:16 (GMT+3)
Peel Ports' barge service that operates between Liverpool and Manchester via the Manchester Ship Canal has seen its handling volumes grow from 3,000 containers in 2009 to an expected 15,000 this year, representing a five-fold increase.
The volume growth has prompted Peel Ports to upgrade port infrastructure at its Irlam Container Terminal by assembling a new 40-tonne Liebherr mobile crane from Austria complete with two spreader frames and to purchase a new 160-TEU vessel, the Monica.
The Monica will be deployed on the existing thrice-weekly service between Liverpool and Irlam Container Terminal, on the outskirts of Manchester. The vessel will also facilitate more regular calls at Ellesmere Port, which was added as a new destination to the service earlier this year, reports Place North West, a UK property website.
"The spectacular growth in demand for the barge service over the last two years has enabled us to invest in this next level of capability," Stephen Carr, head of business development for Peel Ports Mersey.
"Whilst the existing barge has served us well, the capability and flexibility offered by the new vessel and crane will enable us to better meet the growing demands of retailers, fast moving consumer goods and industrial goods manufacturers and shipping lines alike," said Mr Carr.
"Over the last year, we have already invested in upgrading the terminal to International Ship and Port Facility Security standards and the terminal operating system that is linked to Liverpool via the Maritime Cargo Processing Destin8 community system allowing containers to be routed directly to Manchester," he said.
The report noted that at present 90 per cent of deep sea containers arrive in the UK through ports in the South East whilst over 50 per cent of demand is in the Northern half of the UK, resulting in additional strain on the UK's road and rail network.
Peel Ports announced last year in its draft Mersey Ports Master Plan its intention to invest in infrastructure that will enable much of this cargo to be diverted through the Port of Liverpool and to develop distribution centres along the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.