Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Container Alliance Shifts Transatlantic Freight Further North in Port Swap

MSC and Maersk Opt for 2M Move
Shipping News Feature
UK – Container shipping alliance 2M has confirmed that the Port of Liverpool will become a permanent call on its TA4 service connecting Europe with several US ports. Apparently the move by members MSC and Maersk move follows the introduction of a temporary call in July 2018 resulting from continued disruption at the Port of Felixstowe.

The service will use a port rotation that takes in Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Liverpool, Newark, Savannah, Port Everglades and North Charleston. Dan Everitt, Managing Director of MSC UK said:

“MSC has been connecting Liverpool to global routes since 2001 and the Port of Liverpool is an integral part of our UK logistics network. The change we made on this service has worked for us and our customers so it makes business sense to continue it.”

One of the companies using the service is YKK (U.K.) Ltd, the global manufacturer of zips and industrial fastenings, for refilling spools of metal in the US which are then returned to its Runcorn facility for making into specialist automotive parts used around the world. Paul Kelly, Supply Chain Manager for YKK (U.K.) Ltd said:

“The solution streamlines our supply chain, reducing mileage, carbon usage and costs. Working with Peel Ports, MA Logistics and MSC, we’ve been able to use the proximity of Liverpool to our Runcorn base and this new transatlantic service to benefit both the environment and our operations.”

Felixstowe, the country’s busiest container port, is fairly often subject to delays by stormy weather but problems after the installation of a new terminal operating system in June, troubles which have persisted to this day, with hauliers telling us that when there are operational issues the port cancels appointments made via the Vehicle Booking System (VBS). Mark Whitworth, Chief Executive of Peel Ports commented:

“The tide is clearly turning in Liverpool’s favour as shipping lines and their customers see the evidence for how our location can benefit the whole supply chain. The south-east has congested ports, an acute haulier shortage and major concerns about the impact of Brexit on continental trade. The logistics business is naturally risk-averse, especially in these unprecedented times, but it’s clear that the rewards are there for those prepared to take bold moves.”

The decision to move to Liverpool by an alliance of the two biggest box carriers in the world is obviously of some significance and the decision was explained thus by Asbjorn Kops, Trade and Marketing Director of Maersk, who said:

“Switching our transatlantic service temporarily to Liverpool allowed us to maintain our comprehensive UK offering with a wide range of connections to our global network. Based on demand and interest from businesses across the North West we are pleased to be making this change permanent.”