Peel Ports, the owner and developer of the new container terminal at the Port of Liverpool, has received a major boost with the news that SEAGO, the Intra-European shipping line which is part of the Maersk Group, is to launch a new cargo route between Algeciras-Liverpool-Dublin, from April.
The feeder service will strengthen Liverpool2’s Irish Sea hub offering and establish direct cargo connections to and from the North West of England to Ireland and onwards to the Mediterranean, providing trade links to North and West Africa. The new service will offer 6 days transit time between Algeciras and Liverpool, with vessels arriving and departing on Wednesdays.
This is the first time that the Maersk Group Company has used Liverpool for UK cargoes in over 10 years and will be Maersk Group’s first ever direct connection to the Irish capital.
The announcement yesterday (2nd March) follows the news last month that WEC Lines, which is owned by MSC, has introduced a number of new services to the Port of Liverpool. X-press, the world’s largest independent common carrier of containers, has also launched a new service via the city.
Patrick Walters, Commercial Director at Peel Ports, said: “The two services that have already been announced, combined with these additional new services, are a strong signal of intent from lines in the run up to the opening of Liverpool2. Carriers are being increasingly convinced of the arguments around the strength of shipping closer to market via the North-west; partly due to the excellent support we’ve received from cargo owners who are looking for ways to reduce costs, carbon emissions and congestion in their supply chain.”
Liverpool2 is to have a phased opening, with marine trials beginning in April and other elements of the semi-automated terminal coming online throughout Q2 of 2016. The first phase of the new terminal will be fully operational in the autumn.
“We are thrilled to offer a new connection to Liverpool and expand our product portfolio for markets in the UK and Ireland”, shares Seago Line General Manager for UK & Ireland Robert Clegg. “With competitive transit times and convenient berthing windows, we are well-placed to serve customers who seek new opportunities through this Mediterranean connection.
“Furthermore, our customers located in the Liverpool hinterland can now access South European and North African markets with Seago Line as a complementary addition to our existing offer.”
Brian Godsafe, Managing Director at Maersk Line UK & Ireland comments: “This service is a positive addition to our current portfolio. The Irish Sea feeder offers flexibility to customers in the Liverpool area and the wider North-west region”
In January, WEC Lines announced a weekly service linking Liverpool with Sines, the major transhipment hub in Portugal and other Iberian ports. This service will connect with South American, Canary Islands and Far East services at Sines.
The first call to Liverpool by SEAGO Line is planned on April 13th.