Having operated its vessels at the Port of Liverpool since 1967, Atlantic Container Line (ACL) has agreed a 15-year extension for container and roll-on/roll-off operations at the port until 2035.
ACL is the largest carrier operating at Liverpool’s Royal Seaforth Container Terminal (RSCT) and the new agreement demonstrates ACL’s ‘confidence in the growing volume of transatlantic trade between the UK and North America’, according to a 26 November statement.
Peel Ports Group, which the Port of Liverpool sits within, is making continued investment at RSCT to accommodate ACL’s new fleet of G4 vessels.
The investment will include widening the passenger entrance into the Seaforth Basin by 28m to allow for access of the larger G4 vessels. In addition, Peel Ports is investing in two ship-to-shore cranes with increased height and reach. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2021.
Speaking at the time of the announcement, Mark Whitworth, Chief Executive of Peel Ports said, ‘Liverpool’s strategic position makes it a prime gateway for transatlantic trade and will continue to be instrumental as confidence in North American trade grows. The investment we’ll be making in the new STS cranes will help other customers as well as ACL.’
In October 2016, ACL’s first new G4 vessel, the Atlantic Sea, was christened by HRH The Princess Royal. Specifications of the vessel includes a total length of 296m, draft of 11.5m and a breadth of 37.6m. The capacity is a maximum of 3,800 TEU and the vessel can carry up to 1,300 vehicles.
ACL ships over 125,000 units of containers, cars and RORO machinery per annum, and supports a substantial supply chain with a critical link between the UK’s export and import trades. Regarding Liverpool, ACL ships call at the port twice a week.
Earlier in November, Peel Port reported ‘record container throughput’ noting that Quayside and landside throughput in October 2019 at its Liverpool container terminals exceeded all previous figures on record with year on year growth of 12%. The cargoes were connected with a total of 16 shipping lines.