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LIVERPOOL: Peel Ports, the UK's second largest ports operator, wants the UK logistics industry to rethink supply chain and services routes in order to reduce freight mileage by 200 million miles over the next five years.

The company says cargo owners, importers and exporters can sve up to £400 per container by switching the delivery of ocean freight from south-east ports to the port of Liverpool.

Peel Ports' group commercial director Patrick Walters explained: "This initiative is about efficiency and sustainability. We have looked at the geographical demand for goods in the UK, comparing the point of entry of those goods into the country with the end destination and calculating the carbon emissions and potential savings. The reality is that 50 percent of demand for all UK cargo comes from the northern half of the UK, including Scotland and Ireland, [which is] not really surprising as 35 million people, including many in Ireland, live within 240km (150 miles) of Liverpool.

liverpool2 1Walters said Liverpool is the most centrally located port in the UK  yet only eight percent of goods use the historically important gateway. As a result, most cargo destined for the north currently uses road or rail: "incurring hundreds of additional miles, burning fuel, creating road congestion and adding to carbon emissions and costs," he added.

The Peel Port initiative is a prelude to the opening of a new Liverpool container terminal (right) in December this year - a development Walters said will be a viable alternative to current supply chains.

"Investments in transport infrastructure, road, rail and canals are already supporting the accelerated growth of businesses in the north. Taking advantage of these opportunities means making a conscious shift in today's supply chains and services. That shift is primarily to bring cargo closer to markets, thereby cutting the costs, carbon emissions and congestion resulting from inland transportation," he declared.

In April this year, General Mills said it would be the first tenant at a new state-of-the-art distribution hub at Peel Ports' facility at Salford that will save 600,000 road haulage miles each year.

Located adjacent to the Manchester Ship Canal that provides will provide a direct link with Liverpool's new container terminal, the port is expected to improve General Mills' supply chain and provide the company more opportunities to switch from road to rail.

Mark Whitworth, Peel Ports Group CEO commented: "This is a clear endorsement of the benefits to the UK supply chain that we envisaged when developing port Salford. Such investments are helping the North West to transform the UK logistics infrastructure."

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