Port of Liverpool operator Peel Ports has been named Port Operator of the Year by maritime industry bible the UK Ports Directory.
It secured the accolade after securing the most online votes from the 15,000-strong readership drawn from professionals in the sector.
As one of the largest port groups in the UK, Peel Ports manages several key regional trading hubs for the UK economy, including facilities in Liverpool, Heysham, Great Yarmouth, London Medway and Glasgow, handling 70m tonnes of cargo a year.
The award comes on the back of a decade of strong financial performance and investment, which has seen year on year average growth of 10%, and around £1.2bn invested in infrastructure, including more than £400m on the Liverpool2 deep water container terminal on the Mersey.
In partnership with some of the biggest shipping names in the industry, Peel Ports announced several new services in 2021 including a freight-only ferry service connecting Sheerness and Calais from DFDS, and a new multi-modal extension with DKT Allseas to complement its pioneering China Xpress liner service between China and Liverpool.
Peel Ports has also invested in sustainable infrastructure and technology to futureproof its operations, including the delivery of energy-efficient cranes, LED lighting and choosing sustainable, low emission equipment and suppliers.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive at Peel Ports, said: “Being recognised for our efforts by the UK Ports Directory is a fantastic, progressive achievement for our teams and has come at a very exciting time for Peel Ports.
“Upon reflection, we’re proud to have worked tirelessly to keep the supply chain going and facilitate economic growth at both a national and regional level throughout 2021. Despite the challenges that continue to be presented to the supply chain, our team has risen to every challenge and continued to provide first-class services.
“Our continued success and being publicly recognised by our peers and customers for our efforts over the last 12 months has instilled us with a lot of confidence. We are on the right track for a strong performance in 2022 and I’m certain that even more successful times are ahead of us.”
Bill Anderson, director at UK Ports Directory, added: “Peel Ports is undoubtedly a leading UK Port operator and we are looking forward to seeing what 2022 brings for them not only as a winner but as an outstanding supporter of the future of the UK ports industry.”