Peel Ports and Westfal-Larsen Shipping has worked closely to create an innovative cost-effective solution which consolidates customer demand across these two commodities, ensuring the critical volume required to support a regular service via the Port of Liverpool is met.
The new break bulk service will give customers more choice and open up the option of shipping smaller parcels from Far East suppliers. The UK does not produce plywood so all market demand is met by way of imports, the vast majority of which – circa 550kt per annum - comes from the Far East.
Roy Merryweather, Business Development Manager at Port of Liverpool for Peel Ports, said: “Working with Westfal-Larsen Shippingto expandbreak bulk services to include Liverpool will allow us to tap into new business markets.
As a service industry business, we are constantly assessing our offering and reshaping our business to ensure our customers benefit from the best logistics solutions and a consistent quality of delivery with added value to their supply chains.”
He also said: “Plywood and steel are proving to be two growing import commodities for the UK. With the housing market in the north recovering, we expect to see demand for these commodities increase accordingly – making Liverpool the obvious import location for non-EU products such as this.”
The Port of Liverpool is the UK’s most centrally positioned port and can connect to the major conurbations of Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast and Manchester, via the Manchester Ship Canal by water. Its geographic advantage makes the Port of Liverpool the most sustainable inland route for goods destined for the Midlands, Northern England, Scotland, Ireland and North Wales and helps eliminate the need for costly trans-UK road and rail haulage.
Ann-Christin Eggum, Vice President of Chartering and Operations at Westfal-Larsen Shipping, said: “By working together, WLS and Peel Ports hopes that this first vessel will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship between the two companies, both of whom are looking to develop the service and attract additional cargoes.”
The M/V Osakana, one of Westfal-Larsen’s O class fleet of vessels, was the first vessel to arrive at the Port of Liverpool on March 24 discharging 4,000 tonnes of plywood and steel coil cargo. Peel Ports is able to discharge, handle and store the cargo on a single quayside facility.
This is the first time in ten years that a route will combine shipments of steel and plywood via the Port of Liverpool. It is hoped that this service will resurrect the trade of Plywood through Liverpool, increasing potential business opportunities and port coverage.