A new freight service out of the Port of Liverpool will open a direct link between the North West of England and Northern Spain and Portugal.
Containerships will offer a weekly loop services connecting Spain and Portugal to the UK and Ireland, bringing in essential food supplies and provide an alternative to long trucking journeys that have been impacted by COVID-19.
Maintaining food supplies has been a key strategic focus during the pandemic, and shortening ‘last mile’ deliveries has become an important consideration to mitigate vulnerabilities to drivers over long distances.
Aside from the short-term benefits of reducing COVID-19/Brexit impacts, it serves as an overall greener solution compared with long overland transits. The Port of Liverpool has been working closely with the Port Health Authority to enable smoother clearance procedures especially for food products, as well as other value added services available from the terminals.
David Huck, managing director at Port of Liverpool operator, Peel Ports, said: “As the coronavirus wreaks economic turmoil around the world, modern supply chains face unprecedented stress and are finding ways to optimise and identify minimum lead times during the immediacy of the current crisis is paramount.
“As part of our national response we are developing new ways to manage essential supply chains such as fresh produce and construction materials. Containerships are proving to be a key partner for the terminal’s growth having increased their market share in Liverpool by 1.5% compared with 2019.”
COVID-19 has proved challenging for the global supply chain and the transport sector. Ferry operators in Europe are grappling with restrictions and congestion at southern ports, dramatic drops in volume for both passengers and freight, and as a result are cancelling sailings and laying up vessels.
The increase in volume will also lead to an additional call later in the year and making use of Peel Ports integrated network from Ferrol to Liverpool, Dublin, Greenock and Bristol.
Mathis Stöckmann, chief operating officer at Containerships, added: “It’s important now more than ever, that we continue to optimise our supply chain. Reducing minimum lead times, increasing our flexibility and being responsive to the market will ensure we are in a strong position to meet the fast and ever-evolving changes faced by our customers in the current economic climate”.