17 April 2019
Whatever happens with Brexit, trade with the other Member States of the EU will continue as the Port of Liverpool has just demonstrated by opening a new service with two major Portuguese ports and a new link with Spain.
Dutch company WEC Lines now runs the services connecting Liverpool with Setubal and Leidos, using the 882 TEU (20-foot equivalent) vessel, MV Francop. The direct calls to Liverpool will import a range of Iberian products.
WEC Lines becomes the fourth major line announcement for Liverpool in the last few months, following the commitment by Chinese shipping giant COSCO and the 2M shipping alliance which confirmed at the end of 2018 that Liverpool will be a permanent call on its TA4 transatlantic service.
There are now five of the world’s biggest shipping lines using Liverpool as a global gateway to the north of the UK and the Midlands.
Bryn Kerr of JSA Global, WEC Lines UK agent, said: “This is a very positive signal for the Port of Liverpool and speaks volumes of the relationship which has been built up over the previous years with WEC Lines. The new service will ensure goods are able to arrive closer to their ultimate destination and in the quickest time possible.”
Mark Whitworth, Chief Executive of Peel Ports, said that confidence is building around Liverpool and the intention was to create 250 jobs, mostly in the city, to deal with continued business growth.
“Shipping lines and customers are coming around to benefits of shipping through one of the UK’s natural trade gateways which is ultimately closer to the end destination of their cargoes,” he concluded.