Peel Ports’ Radical Mega-Port Rethink


Mega gateway ports are in danger of failing the global supply chain, causing congestion, adding cost and impacting on air quality and local environments, according to a recent press release which outlines a speech to be made in Sao Paulo by Patrick Walters, Commercial Director of Peel Ports.

PTI previously reported that Peel Ports had selected food and drinks logistics company, Culina Group, to operate its first tri-modal inland port facility in Port Salford, UK.

Peel Ports is the UK’s second largest port operator.

Walters is to call for a “radical rethink” around the supply chain to refocus on direct calls to ports closest to cargo centres.

Walters said: “Port selection needs to be based on proximity to market. Loading or discharging cargo at ports which are remote from the initial origin or ultimate destination of cargo is costly, inefficient, risky and environmentally damaging.

“The model of mega-ports serving as gateways to extensive and increasingly remote hinterlands has to be questioned. Mega-feeders linking mega-ports do not alleviate congestion in the mega-hubs.

“Direct calls at regional ports, close to import and export centres, with transhipment occurring at transhipment ports, provide real solutions for tackling congestion and increasing opportunities for the efficient transfer of goods. Delivering ocean freight closer to destinations cuts the cost of inland transportation and removes the delay associated with the current pattern of remote shipments.

“But taking advantage of these opportunities means a shift in the current mind-set of supply chains and services, who are stubbornly rooted to a small selection of mega gateway ports. Shippers and end users need to take more of a role in lobbying lines to include calls at regional ports.”

Mr Walters will be addressing delegates at Intermodal, showcasing the US$466m investment which is being made at the Port of Liverpool to create one of Northern Europe’s most technologically advanced and modern ports.

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