The Manchester Shuttle transhipment service will sail three times a week. On its arrival in Salford, the wine will be packed for distribution to supermarkets across the country. On its return run, the service will carry export cargo plus empty containers for transfer to deep-sea shipping services out of the Port of Liverpool.
The shuttle service is operated by Manchester-based Seaborn Container Line, which acquired a push tug and two barges after initial transhipment trials by Peel Ports, owner of the Port of Liverpool. Frank Robotham, Peel Ports Group marketing director, said: “This major investment is probably the largest to be made to enhance the movement of containers along a UK inland waterway.”
The initiative is expected to reduce the liquid cargo’s carbon footprint by 80%, compared with conventional road transport. Most of it, currently amounting to 1,500 teu a year, is carried by the Mediterranean Shipping Company on its weekly feeder service between Antwerp and Liverpool. The Tesco wines originate from Australia, New Zealand, California, Chile and Argentina.