The 2M shipping alliance, the collaboration between Maersk and MSC, the two biggest container lines in the world by market share, has committed to a permanent transatlantic shipping route connecting Liverpool, UK, with several US ports, according to a statement from Peel Ports.
The announcement follows the introduction of a temporary call in July 2018 by 2M after severe disruption at the Port of Felixstowe.
At present, the service is currently being used to export UK cargo, such as food produce and retail, but, according to Peel Ports, is attracting interest for trade in manufacturing and industrial goods.
The service will use a port rotation that takes in Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Liverpool, Newark, Savannah, Port Everglades and North Charleston.
The commitment from 2M is the latest in a series of logistical and shipping milestones for the Port of Liverpool.
— Peel Ports (@PeelPorts) January 15, 2019
Earlier this year Peel Ports introduced a rail freight service directly from the port in partnership with DB Cargo.
It is currently the only major UK container terminal to offer tri-modal connectivity, with road, rail and water, and the Manchester Ship Canal, plus short-sea shipping.
Furthermore, COSCO Shipping, the third largest shipping line in the world, called at the port for the first when the MV Jork arrived on October 16 2018.
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Asbjorn Kops, Trade and Marketing Director, Maersk, had this to say about the announcement: “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.”
Dan Everitt, Managing Director, MSC UK, also spoke: “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.”
Mark Whitworth, Chief Executive, Peel Ports, welcomed the move and said it was a sign of Liverpool’s growing prominence on the world stage: “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.”