WEC introduces new service from Port of Liverpool to Morocco

WEC introduces new service from Port of Liverpool to Morocco

Shipping operator, WEC Lines, has announced a new direct service between Agadir in Morocco and the Port of Liverpool, offering a fast and green alternative for fresh produce importers to overland trucking. 

The service will use WEC’s existing fleet of vessels, operating around 850 to 1,000 TEU.

Some of these vessels are already used to ship UK refrigerated goods to tourists and ex-pat residents in the Canary Islands. They will now extend their route via Agadir before returning to the UK, with the potential for reefers to load in Spain and Portugal in addition to the dry cargoes. 

To support the service, WEC is taking delivery of around 50 additional refrigerated units and is expecting to add further units to the fleet in the next phase. 

READ: Port of Liverpool faces job cuts as container volumes plummet

Last year, Peel Ports surveyed more than 2,000 retail leaders. Three-quarters (76 per cent) of participants stated they would opt to import goods closer to end destinations if they were given a choice on their port of entry by shipping lines, while 68 per cent felt a better choice of ports would improve supply chain efficiencies.  

The research also found more than half of retail leaders (51 per cent) experience delays or bottlenecks in the supply chain, with almost a fifth (19 per cent) claiming these delays are frequent. Most retail leaders (68 per cent) felt importing goods via the North of England would help to prevent this. 

Roger Megann, Managing Director of WEC Lines, said: “There’s a gap in the market here for wholesalers and supermarkets that want a choice for how they get fresh produce to the UK, because now they’ve only one option.

“We’re getting strong indications that there’s a demand for an alternative that reduces carbon emission, cost, and takes virtually the same amount of time.” 

READ: Port of Liverpool named UK’s top port

Ian Cressey, Port Director at Peel Ports’ Port of Liverpool, added: “So many of the big wholesalers and retailers have their distribution centres in the Northwest, so it makes sense to ship the produce straight here, rather than clogging up the UK and mainland Europe’s roads.

“Every container of fresh produce on a vessel is one more lorry avoiding unnecessary journeys, especially when you consider that many of the return trips will be empty.

In May 2023, Peel Ports Group invested £28 million ($34.7 million) on a new facility at the Port of Liverpool in its biggest single investment in warehousing this year.

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