First China-Scotland container service docks at Greenock Ocean Terminal

First China-Scotland container service docks at Greenock Ocean Terminal

The first-ever direct container service connecting China and Scotland has berthed at Greenock Ocean Terminal after its maiden voyage.

The new east and west bound freight route from Ningbo, China, arrived for the first time at Scotland’s deepest container terminal on 27 August.

The service – a partnership between KC Liner Agencies, DKT Allseas and China Xpress – transported imports including textiles, furniture, and toys for the Scottish market.

The vessel has later departed on its route back to China transporting cases of whiskey.

“It’s great to finally welcome this vital service to Greenock Ocean Terminal,” said Jim McSporran, Clydeport Director at Peel Ports.

“Our terminal is the perfect fit for such a global trade connection, and this is again shown by the significant volumes we will be helping ship back to China.

“We believe this partnership will prove to be a hugely positive development for businesses and customers, as well as boosting the wider supply chain, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners on this service in the coming months.”

According to a recent statement from Peel Ports, the direct China-Scotland sailings will significantly reduce transit times, compared to feeder services via continental Europe or other southern UK ports.

Sailings will take place per month in each direction, calling at Ningbo, and the Chinese city of Shenzhen, before arriving in Greenock via the container terminal at the Port of Liverpool.

READ: Liverpool strikes to go ahead in latest UK supply chain snarl

The route will be operated by six ships of about 1,600 TEU.

“We knew China Xpress was a service needed by many sectors, but still, we’ve been amazed at the level of immediate interest,” added David Milne, KC Group Shipping Managing Director.

“It’s been a phenomenal success for KC Group Shipping, but this is just the first of many journeys and we need the support of Scottish importers and exporters to safeguard the long-term future of this new service.

“Our direct trading link to China cuts through frustrating transhipment delays which is a massive boost for Scottish businesses and can only help consumers in these difficult times.”

Greenock Ocean Terminal currently has a throughput of 100,000 TEU a year.

READ: New cranes set for Scottish container terminal in £17 million boost

“The freight side of Greenock Ocean Terminal can often be overshadowed and sometimes forgotten about because of the busy cruise ship schedule,” said Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council.

“The decision by KC Shipping to establish this direct link from Greenock to China – the first in Scotland – combined with the visitor centre development and ambitious Clyde Green Freeport bid is a ringing endorsement of Greenock and Inverclyde as an important location for exports, imports and visitors and long may that continue.”  

Earlier this month, STC INSISO announced an extension to its six-figure contract with Peel Ports for health and safety assessment.

The Aberdeen-headquartered problem-solving company has renewed the contract following completion of health and safety health checks of all Peel Ports’ container terminals.

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