Port of Liverpool secures another Spanish freight link

Port of Liverpool operator Peel Ports announces second new route in a few days linking the Mersey with Spain and Ireland. Tony McDonough reports

CLdN will operate a service linking the Port of Liverpool with Spain and Ireland

Peel Ports has announced another new freight shipping route linking the Port of Liverpool with Spain and Ireland.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Containerships would offer a new weekly loop service connecting Spain and Portugal to the UK and Ireland, bringing in essential food supplies.

Now, European short sea roll-on/roll-off specialist CLdN is introducing a new call at the Port of Liverpool, opening the first pure RoRo service in a triangle trade between Santander, Liverpool and Dublin.

The new service will operate a weekly loop connecting Spain directly to the UK and Ireland. This will bring the total number of calls from the Iberian peninsular to Liverpool to eight and will provide a new "green" RoRo alternative.

It will see a reduction in excessive road and sea miles, by following the shortest, most direct route and avoiding the English Channel and long road trips.

Supply chains are having to develop new models of working in response to the demands placed on them. COVID-19 has created a number of challenges as a result of a globalised system.

Long distance European haulage is one such challenge in a post COVID-19 world.

Reduced turnaround times coupled with the added benefit of shortening the land journey to end destination will mean cargo, particularly perishable goods, will reach shelves quicker providing relief for stores under consumer pressure.

Delays as a result of increased paperwork and border controls are one of the biggest concerns for products grown or manufactured in mainland Europe and imported into the UK.

Currently, more than 75% of all RoRo freight from ports on the near continent passes through the English Channel versus pre-COVID-19, where 99% of it was accompanied.

By using the CLdN service and the unaccompanied freight model, the current burden of restrictive measures put in place by authorities relating to driver or passengers transport is removed.

Mike Lewis, UK sales manager at CLdN, said: "Having observed an increasing demand from trailer, container and project cargo operators for a direct connection from Iberia to the UK and Ireland in certain markets, we chose the Port of Liverpool to take advantage of the UK's extensive port network."

Shipments of fresh fruit and vegetables enter the UK from more than 26 European countries, predominantly through ports in the south of England.

The majority of items coming through are perishables with limited time before expiry, products such as tomatoes and citrus from Spain and apples and pears from France.

As it stands, the UK imports about 85% of its vegetables from the EU.

David Huck, managing director at Peel Ports, added: "The impact of COVID-19 has served to accelerate a lot of change and we are seeing a purposeful shift to establish a flexible and adaptable supply chain in response to the needs of the market.

"It's therefore important now more than ever the need towards more strategic relationships, a demand-driven and flexible supply chain."

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