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.
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.
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.
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.