Peel Ports has signed a deal with shipping operator BG Freight Line for a new freight service which will connect Greenock, Belfast and Rotterdam with the Port of Liverpool’s £300m Liverpool2 terminal.
This will open up global opportunities for Scottish exporters, particularly in the food and drink, chemical and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Liverpool2 should become operational by the end of the year and will be equipped to handle 95% of the world’s biggest cargo ships.
Peel believes the facility could revolutionise the UK logistics market by handling much of the imported freight which currently moves through south coast ports. Vessels on the new routre will call at the Port of Liverpool on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday each week.
Currently Liverpool handles 45% of the UK’s total transatlantic trade; the new shipping route will give Scottish firms direct access to the UK’s main trade hub with North America.
The USA is Scotland’s number one export market accounting for £3.9bn of exports in 2013. Scotland has ambitious goals for exports. In 2010 the Scottish Government announced plans to increase exports to international markets by 50% by 2017 from £22.81bn to £33.4bn.