Peel Ports Group, which owns the Port of Liverpool, has begun the second phase of its expansion programme at Liverpool2 container terminal.
The latest phase will include the installation of a further three ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and ten cantilever rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes.
These add to the previous five STS cranes and 12 cantilever RMGs installed during phase one, which opened in November 2016.
Liverpool 2, which has received investment of £400m (US$524m) will be able to unload two 380 m vessels simultaneously following the upgrade.
Additional reefer points will also be installed to allow the terminal to handle a higher number of refrigerated containers.
According to Peel Ports, the facility’s road, rail and canal connections give it a catchment of over 35m people, almost 58% of the UK’s population.
Mark Whitworth, CEO of Peel Ports, said: “This is an important step in the development of Liverpool2 and reflects our confidence and our long term commitment to positioning the North of England as a competitive route to international markets and a major port for global trade.
“The development of the project programme is now well underway. We are currently preparing the outline designs and would look to be in a position to appoint construction partners in spring of next year, with a view to commencement of construction shortly after. We anticipate a completion date for phase two in 2019.”
Although the terminal does not currently have any vessel calls from the three global alliances, Peel Ports Group secured over 200 signatures for its Cargo200 initiative earlier this year, calling on importers and exporters whose goods are destined for the North of England to switch delivery of ocean-freight from south-east ports to the Port of Liverpool.
According to the terminal operator, this shift in the location of vessel calls would save the UK £400m (US$524m) per year and cut inland freight mileage by 200m miles by 2020.