Liverpool: Given the extraordinary competition for ship calls ports around the world these days have to offer far more value-added services if they are to prosper. That’s the view of Mark Whitworth, the chief executive of UK-based Peel Ports.
“Ports need to ensure they are future proofing their infrastructure and operations to align to the changes in market dynamics,” Whitworth tells Maritime CEO. This doesn’t just include vessel size and automation, he points out. “Terminal operators need to raise their game to show that they can provide a value-added service that really helps their customers’ work more efficiently, operate smarter and offer a more sustainable route to market,” Whitworth reckons.
This port-centric approach, Whitworth says, could mean working with customers to offer warehousing packages which use existing facilities on site at port, allowing goods to be processed and dispatched to distributors more quickly. Alternatively, it might be that facilities, including rail or canal links from port to population hubs, offer a cost saving that can’t be obtained elsewhere, which is something Whitworth’s company is doing with its new container terminal Liverpool2 which will be connected to the national import centre at Port Salford via the Manchester Ship Canal, road and rail.
Peel Ports is investing more than $400m in the redevelopment of the Port of Liverpool, to develop and expand the existing infrastructure and facilities to create the UK’s largest transatlantic deepwater port and container terminal. When it opens in late 2015, Liverpool2 will be able to accommodate the majority of the largest containerships in the global fleet.