Mersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseysideMersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseyside

By Mersey Maritime

New rail freight route will link the Port of Liverpool to Scotland

A new rail link from the Port of Liverpool will provide a “seamless” route to carry freight from vessels docking in the Mersey up to Scotland.

Port owner Peel Ports says the new service will begin on May 8 with goods loaded in Liverpool and transferred to Mossend terminal in Glasgow, before onward delivery to destinations across Scotland.

Peel has teamed up with the UK’s largest rail freight company, DB Cargo UK, to provide the new service aimed at shipping lines, freight forwarders, tank operators and cargo owners.

The returning service to Liverpool will carry Scottish goods for export, with a large portion destined for America.

Biscuit run
Scottish family-run company Walkers Shortbread, which produces 40,000 tons of biscuits every year, will be one of the first customers to use the new service, exporting 700 containers a year to America.

The new service will comprise of up to 30 wagons and is expected to carry more than 40 containers per trip. The service will initially run three days a week with DB Cargo UK providing the rail haulage.

Major milestone
Jouke Schaap, container director at Peel Ports, said: “This is an important milestone event for us and our partners, DB Cargo.

“We know that cargo owners are looking for more efficient ways of getting their goods from A to B, and this rail freight service provides them with a simpler, more cost effective and environmentally friendly way of doing that.”

Peel has spent £400m on its new Liverpool2 container terminal, equipped to handle 95% of the world’s biggest container vessels. It is keen to grab a big slice of the import market which is currently concentrated on Ports in the South of England.

A significant percentage of the freight unloaded at Southern Ports has to be transported by road to the north of the UK. Unloading at Liverpool can slash both costs and emissions.

‘Sustainable solution’
Hans-Georg Werner, chief executive of DB Cargo UK, added: “Introducing express rail services between Liverpool and Mossend is a really sustainable solution, significantly reducing the need for HGVs to travel thousands of miles on our roads each week.

“Peel Ports’ vision to offer customers a seamless end-to-end service resonates with our own drive for higher standards of service and flexibility for our customers.”

The available train path capacity directly to and from the Port of Liverpool is currently amongst the highest of all major ports within the UK, providing expansion options for importers and exporters that also minimise cost, congestion and carbon emissions.

By Mersey Maritime

Seatruck CEO takes on Lake District cycling challenge for charity

Seatruck chief executive Alistair Eagles will attempt the ‘Fred Whitton’ challenge – a single day endurance cycling event held annually in the Lake District – to raise money for two good causes.

The route includes 113 miles  of cycling and around 12,500 ft of ascent as it summits all the major Lake District passes.

Alistair said: “The ‘Fred’ is widely regarding as one of the more punishing events of this type and my training is therefore in full swing.

“So much so that I am already taking on many of the physical attributes of Chris Froome, that is apart from being overweight and not a very good cyclist.”

You can support Alistair’s fundraising efforts by clicking on the following two links:

Lancaster and District Homeless Action Group

MacMillan Cancer Support

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey Maritime to support the International Maritime Forum at the International Business Festival

Mersey Maritime is to support and take part in the International Maritime Forum, taking place in Liverpool this summer as part of the International Business Festival.

The forum is a global maritime and supply chain conference and will take place on Thursday, June 21, at Exhibition Centre Liverpool on the city’s waterfront.

Titled: The Northern Maritime Powerhouse: Driving global trade post-Brexit, the event will look at how digitalisation and increased connectivity can enhance port processes and drive innovation to boost global trade.

It will discuss blockchain technologies and ‘big data’ in the context of streamlining shipping and port operations to the lasting benefit of the end-users as well as the importers and exporters.

Organised by Shipping Innovation, creator of London International Shipping Week, this high-level forum is designed to spark lively debate among key ports, shippers and supply chain leaders.

Sean Moloney, director of Shipping Innovation, welcomed Mersey Maritime involvement in the forum and praised its work in highlighting the excellent work shipping and the supply chain undertakes in this important part of the world.

“We look forward to working with our friends at Mersey Maritime during this exciting event. IBF is all about promoting the UK and the North-West’s strength in delivering growth in global trade, post-Brexit. I look forward to meeting key decision makers from the UK, and in particular, this region, during this important event,” he said.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, added: “It is going to be a great opportunity for our members to network at the highest level. We will bring over a delegation from the port of Rotterdam and we look forward to the fantastic networking opportunities at this event.”

Further information about the International Maritime Forum can be found on the dedicated event website:

Anyone interested in sponsoring the event can contact Corinne McGinty at Mersey Maritime via email – – or by phone on 0151 231 2958.

By Mersey Maritime

Member of the Month: Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust

Businesses are being urged to support a brilliant initiative in May that will see young people gain fantastic experience working on a tall ship in the Irish Sea.

And the charity behind the Apprenticeship Cup project, Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST), also still has places left for young people aged 16-plus who would like to take part.

The International Tall Ships Regatta 2018 will see a fleet of more than 20 ships set sail from LIverpool on May 26, on the weekend of the Mersey River Festival, and head for Dublin and there they will sail on to Bordeaux in France.

Sea voyage

MAST’s three vessels will join the Liverpool to Dublin leg crewed by dozens of youngsters. They will then sail from Dublin to Greenock in Scotland and then return to Liverpool three weeks later.

MAST chair Jim Graves said: “We are appealing for businesses in Merseyside to get involved in this event. They can either sponsor a young person through helping us fund the bursaries or they can hire one of the tall ships for a corporate event when it is in port.

“We also still have places left for young people who would like to make the trip. The only criteria is that they are aged over 16.”


MAST, a member of Mersey Maritime, was launched in 2009 and enables young people  to achieve growth and personal development through sail training and embarking on life-changing adventures. It takes approximately 1,000 young people to sea each year.

Mr Graves added: “We started MAST because we wanted to create a positive environment in which we could help young people across Merseyside. We wanted to link in with business to help young people develop and get the right career advice and support.”

Those taking part in the MAST programmes can get support to boost their self-confidence, acquire team working skills, learn respect for themselves and others, pick up problem-solving, communication and social and life skills as well as learning a range of sailing and navigation skills in a real maritime environment.

Award winners

In March, MAST scooped the Positive Impact Award at the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards 2018 held at Liverpool FC in March.

If you are a business wanting to support the Apprenticeship Cup or hire a vessel for an event, or if you are a young person wanted to take part contact MAST at

By Mersey Maritime

Join the 190 Club to help people in need and have a chance to win cash prizes

Mersey Maritime members are being urged to join the 190 Club which raises much-needed funds for people in Wirral struggling to buy food and offers monthly cash prizes.

The club is a private lottery launched by member Chris Wainwright, managing director of Beech Group. It aims to raise £24,000 for the charity Feeding Britain by asking businesses to pay £190 a year to join and be in with a chance of winning monthly cash prizes of £500, £300 and £200.

So far 100 companies have signed up, 20 of them members of Mersey Maritime, and Chris is launching a new push to recruit more and reach the 190 target. This would raise £36,100 which, after deducting the prize money, would leave Feeding Britain with £24,100 per year.

The name for the club came about after a Mersey Maritime networking event which saw a speech by Cammell Laird chief executive John Syvret. The shipyard and engineering firm is 190 years old this year.

Also speaking at the event was Birkenhead Labour MP Frank Field who gave an impassioned talk on his attempts to raise money for Feeding Britain, which was established in 2015 to combat the growing issue of people in deprived communities not having enough to eat and having to rely on food banks.

Both Cammell Laird and Mersey Maritime have given their full backing to the 190 Club.

Anyone who wishes to join the 190 Club can contact Chris at

By Mersey Maritime

Forum to offer insight into opportunities for UK firms in India’s maritime sector

Maritime UK is working with the Department for International Trade and the UK-India Business Council to organise a forum to increase awareness of the Indian maritime opportunities to British companies.

India and the UK are two great maritime nations. With a vast coastline of 7,500 km and navigable waterways of more than 14,000 km, India boasts a rich maritime heritage.

The maritime sector has the potential to be a hugely significant driver of Indian growth, and the Indian Government has rightly recognised the scale of the opportunity.

The forum, to be held on Wednesday, May 2, following the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, will inform British businesses of the opportunities across India. Attendees will learn about projects and initiatives including Sagar Mala, the Ganges River project, Assam Ferry Project and a number of other defence opportunities.

Britain is confident in its maritime offer: cutting-edge technology, high-quality design and manufacturing, unparalleled services expertise and major investment opportunities. By applying UK expertise and specialism, the UK can help India realise its maritime ambitions.

As the UK leaves the EU, it must look to strengthen relationships with countries across the world, and India must be front and centre in that mission.

As one of the fastest-growing economies, India’s maritime ambition, coupled with UK expertise and renewed focus on global trade, offers a powerful vehicle for mutual economic growth.

For more information on the programme and to register click here.

By Mersey Maritime

Heightsafe wins top accolade for its commitment to health and safety

Wirral-based Heightsafe Systems has been given a top award for ‘Outstanding Health and Safety Practices’.

The ‘working-at-height’ specialist has a “keen eye for compliance” and provides its staff, clients, and contractors with the tools to get home safely at the end of the working day.

That commitment has now been recognised in the the internationally acclaimed, and longest running industry awards scheme in the UK – RoSPA Health and Awards.

The RoSPA awards scheme receives entries from organisations around the world, recognises achievement in health and safety management systems and practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Marion Diable, client director and owner of Heightsafe, said “Winning this RoSPA award is a milestone moment for Heightsafe and all of our dedicated staff. This is a benchmark which reinforces our absolute focus on health and safety in all that we do, and with robust procedures that are critical to our work.

“Keeping our staff and clients ahead of health and safety legislation, and constant demand for the highest standard of excellence in our working practices, has been recognised yet again by our peers.”

Julia Small, head of qualifications, awards and events at RoSPA, added “The RoSPA Awards are the most highly-respected in the health and safety arena, with almost 2,000 entrants every year, allowing organisations to prove excellence in the workplace, demonstrating a commitment to the wellbeing of not only employees but all those who interact with it.”

Heightsafe’s team will attend at ceremony on Thursday, July 5, to accept the award.

By Mersey Maritime

Denholm Logistics unveils merger of its transport and handling businesses

Liverpool-based logistics specialist Denholm Logistics is to merge two of its businesses Denholm Transport and Denholm Handling – to create Denholm UK Logistics.

Following a period of growth for both businesses the management team at Denholm Logistics recognised the value to its customers of combining its warehousing, terminal management and distribution services, with its container and general cargo transportation business.

Denholm UK Logistics will be led by managing director Martin Hall, who said: “Denholm Transport is one of the UK’s major carriers of container and general cargo, while Denholm Handling provides flexible and innovative warehousing and handling.

“Both are established businesses with strong track records of working sustainably with retail and industrial brands.

“Following engagement with our customers, we plan to combine our transportation and handling businesses to create a complete UK logistics solution for our customers.”

Mr Hall is currently managing director of Denholm UK Logistics, which was renamed in April from Denholm Handling in anticipation of the merger. The business now operates 1.4m sq ft of port-centric warehousing throughout the UK.

Denholm Logistics is a member of Mersey Maritime and its managing director, Niall Denholm, added: “We have also been investing in our transportation business. We have expanded our owned vehicle fleet and installed the latest transport management technology and we now complete over 120,000 UK container transport moves for our customers each year.

“As a result of the investment in our transport and warehousing infrastructures and the synergies between them, it is the right time to combine both businesses.”
The proposed merger is scheduled to be completed by July 1.

By Mersey Maritime

National Marine backs Wirral Kayak Challenge for third year running

Safety boat specialist National Marine is supporting the annual Wirral Kayak Challenge this summer for the third year running.

The event, being held on Sunday, June 24, see’s participants kayaking from New Brighton to Thurstaston Beach to raise money and awareness for Claire House Children’s Hospice.

Mike Dudley started the event in 2011 by completing a kayaking challenge from Snowdonia to West Kirby. He decided to turn it into an annual event and make it accessible to all.

Joined by his partner Gill Henderson in organising the event a few years ago they have made it a huge success with more than 70 people taking part in last years challenge.

Over the years the challenge has raised more than £18,000 for Claire House and around £5,000 for other charities, including the MS society, and they are hopeful that this years event will include more participants than ever before.

A new charity also being supported by the challenge this year is Wirral Holistic Care Services, a cancer charity based in Birkenhead.

National Marine, a member of Mersey Maritime, said: “Our safety boats, jet skis and crews will once again be on hand to ensure the safety of all getting involved from when they leave New Brighton to arriving in Thurstaston.”

For anyone interested in taking part in the Kayak Challenge there are weekly meetings at the Ship Inn in Hoylake every Wednesday starting from May 2 until June 20.

By Mersey Maritime

Peel Ports signs deal to import 1m tonnes of animal feedstuffs every year

Pictured: Mark Whitworth, Peel Ports CEO (left), with Graham Atkinson MD of ADM Arkady. Picture by Phil Tragen

More than 1m tonnes of animal feed imports will come through the Port of Liverpool and its sister port in Glasgow every year under a new deal.

Peel Ports, owner of both ports and a Mersey Maritime member, has signed an agreement with ADM Arkady, part of global agricultural processor and food ingredient provider Archer Daniels Midland, that will see an expansion of warehouse facilities in Merseyside and in Scotland.

The contract will enable ADM Arkady to consolidate its regional imports, better servicing its North of England and Scotland markets.

Graham Atkinson, managing director of ADM Arkady, said, “These two new deals further strengthen the relationship between Peel Ports Group and ADM Arkady.

“Combining Peel’s extensive port network and expertise in handling and warehousing together with ADM’s global supply chain makes an unbeatable partnership that will benefit UK agriculture in the coming years.

“With the scale and efficiencies that these new port arrangements provide we are confident that we can bring the highest quality feedstuff products into the UK at prices that deliver best value to our customers.”

The contract with ADM Arkady will replace a previous contract with Cefetra to handle its agribulk operations out of Glasgow. Following a comprehensive review, Peel Ports and Cefetra came to a mutual agreement not to renew their contracts at KGV in Glasgow.

Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, added: “Our long-term agreement with ADM Arkady is a welcome boost to operations in Glasgow and Liverpool. We are in the process of finalising plans for the storage and distribution facilities to accommodate ADM Arkady’s business model.

“With strategic port locations in the north of England and Scotland we are in a unique position to work with ADM Arkady as it continues its growth in the UK, helping create an efficient, more cost-effective supply chain for its products and customers.”

By Mersey Maritime

MPE and Cammell Laird create time capsule for The Hive’s first birthday

Mersey Maritime members MPE Interiors and Cammell Laird have joined forces to build an amazing time capsule for Wirral youth facility, The Hive.

Made from Iroko wood and glass, the capsule is the result of more than 40 hours of highly-skilled labour from MPE Interiors’ Alan Davidson and was designed by expert draftsman, Tom Whetnall.

The one-off project was commissioned by Cammell Laird, a Founder Patron of The Hive, to provide the youth facility with a focal point for its one-year anniversary, which will be celebrated this April.

MPE has worked extensively for Cammell Laird on numerous vessel fit out projects.

The 130kg capsule will be laid into the floor of The Hive’s building in Bright Street, Birkenhead as part of the Youth Zone’s anniversary event. In a nod to Birkenhead’s maritime heritage, the top of the capsule features a port-hole that will be visible to everyone visiting The Hive.

As one of the leading maritime sector outfitters in the United Kingdom, MPE interiors has applied the same level of skill to the capsule creation as they do to interior fit-out projects for vessels including superyachts, cruise ships and ferries.

Items to be placed into the time capsule will be selected through consultation with young members at The Hive, across the Junior, Senior and Hiveability (Inclusion) sessions.

Young people are being asked to submit ideas for items that would reflect what life was like for those growing up in the borough during the 21st century, for example, popular music, photos capturing school and family life, fashion items, artwork and films.

Stuart Barnes, chief executive of The Hive, said: “We feel privileged to be in receipt of this wonderful piece of craftsmanship from the MPE Interiors team.

“Not only will it serve to ensure The Hive and its young members make their mark on history, but it will also highlight the strong maritime links of the Wirral and Birkenhead, for future generations.

By Mersey Maritime

Mersey maritime sector ready to lead UK’s industrial strategy, says industry heavyweight

Liverpool city region’s £4bn powerhouse maritime sector will lead the UK’s industrial strategy in the coming decades – according to one of the country’s industry leaders.

And David Dingle, who is both chairman of industry body Maritime UK and cruise giant Carnival UK, also praised “amazing” £25m Maritime Knowledge Hub (MKH) planned for Wirral Waters.

Mr Dingle presided over a National Council meeting of Maritime UK at the Birkenhead headquarters of Mersey Maritime – the second one it has held in Merseyside in recent months. It further cemented the relationship between the two organisations and positioned Mersey Maritime to take a major role in the UK’s current and future maritime policy.

Top executives

And Mr Dingle also spoke at a top-level industry dinner at Liverpool’s Malmaison Hotel organised by, Mersey Maritime. Among the guests were representatives of the UK Chamber of Shipping, the British Ports Association, the Society of Maritime Industries, British Marine, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Maritime London, among others.

Also at the dinner were senior executives from the Mersey maritime sector including Peel Ports and law firm Hill Dickinson, the leader of Wirral Council, Phil Davies, Sir Michael Bibby, Professor Janet Hemingway; Director of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and Professor Nigel Weatherill, Vice Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

Earlier in the day, Mr Dingle had been given a tour of Wirral Waters and the Grade II-listed Victorian hydraulic tower that will former the centrepiece of the MKH. Work on the project is due to start this summer.

‘Amazing project’

Clearly bowled by what he had seen, Mr Dingle told the dinner: “Today I learned all about the Wirral Waters project and the Maritime Knowledge Hub – and I think it is an amazing project.

“The whole concept of Wirral Waters is something everyone involved should be very proud of. It is tribute to the ambition of Peel Land and Property and Wirral Council and to the part played by Liverpool John Moores University and Mersey Maritime.”

The MKH is being led by Mersey Maritime and the umbrella organisation is now working closely with Maritime UK on influencing the Government’s industrial strategy. And Mr Dingle acknowledged that the “collaborative approach” of the Merseyside sector was now a model for the rest of the UK to follow.

He added: “We are working really closely with the Government. The relationship between the Government and the maritime industry has never been stronger than it is right now.

“We are focused on a maritime sector deal within the government’s industrial strategy and Merseyside is right at the heart of that strategy.

“There is a uniqueness about Merseyside and you do business in a wonderful way. You seem to work more collaboratively, quickly and effortlessly. This is a very exciting time.”

The sector deal proposal has a significant focus on technology and innovation, which if supported by government would see the UK take the lead in the development of autonomous and green shipping.

Following last week’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by the IMO, UK industry recognises the significant opportunity for rapid technological development and subsequent competitive advantage. The proposals sees research and academic assets from across the UK bound together with industry to jointly focus efforts on these challenges. Liverpool’s assets will be central to the project.

Leading the way

Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, welcomed the ringing endorsement from Mr Dingle, and said: “As soon as he saw what was happening here in respect of Wirral Waters and the Maritime Knowledge Hub, he was clearly overwhelmed.

“Liverpool city region’s maritime sector not only has an illustrious history – it is leading the way right now and the whole UK industry clearly recognises how important we are to the future prosperity of the country.”

New rail freight route will link the Port of Liverpool to Scotland
Seatruck CEO takes on Lake District cycling challenge for charity
Mersey Maritime to support the International Maritime Forum at the International Business Festival
Member of the Month: Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust
Join the 190 Club to help people in need and have a chance to win cash prizes
Forum to offer insight into opportunities for UK firms in India’s maritime sector
Heightsafe wins top accolade for its commitment to health and safety
Denholm Logistics unveils merger of its transport and handling businesses
National Marine backs Wirral Kayak Challenge for third year running
Peel Ports signs deal to import 1m tonnes of animal feedstuffs every year
MPE and Cammell Laird create time capsule for The Hive’s first birthday
Mersey maritime sector ready to lead UK’s industrial strategy, says industry heavyweight