Peel Ports said it has partnered with the UK’s largest rail freight company, DB Cargo UK, to provide a new rail service for containers via the Port of Liverpool for the first time.
The new service will provide shipping lines, forwarders, tank operators and cargo-owners with a seamless route between the quayside at Liverpool and Scotland.
The service is due to begin on May 8, with goods loaded in Liverpool and transferred to Mossend terminal in Glasgow, before onward delivery to destinations across Scotland.
The returning service to Liverpool will carry Scottish goods for export, with a large portion destined for the US.
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 the US.
The new service will comprise 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.
“It also underlines our commitment to working with our customers and the wider supply chain to transform UK logistics practices to ensure the door-to-door journey is optimised.”
Hans-Georg Werner, CEO from DB Cargo UK said: “We’re delighted to be working alongside Peel Ports on this exciting new initiative.
“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. We look forward to seeing our partnership grow in the years ahead.”
Andrew Stokes, Head of International Sales at Walkers Shortbread Ltd, said: “Increasing our logistics efficiency and reducing our road haulage miles are both key to our export strategy.
“The new rail service connecting Scotland with Liverpool provides us with direct, regular access to our gateway to America.
“We’re currently exporting around 700 containers of shortbread to the US each year, and hope to see this grow in years to come, in part thanks to the integrated route to market offered via Liverpool.”