COSCO Shipping will take slots on an existing Canadian service via Montreal with Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), giving it a presence in Liverpool.
The decision follows a trial by the Chinese carrier in October 2018, since when MSC has also introduced a new call to Liverpool as part of a rotation including Canada, Turkey and several southern European ports.
It is the third major line announcement for the UK port in recent months, as the 2M shipping alliance confirmed at the end of 2018 that Liverpool will be a permanent call on its TA4 trans-Atlantic service.
Alan Newell, general manager of COSCO’s agents China Shipping UK Agency, said: “On the strength of [the trial] we are looking to market slots to our customers with a view to growing traffic on the route.
“It’s clear that Liverpool has a lot of potential as a gateway for many cargo owners in the north of the UK and we are confident that we are capitalising on this growing demand at the right time.”
Dutch company WEC Lines is also beginning a new service connecting the port with Setubal and Leixoes in Portugal, importing Iberian products using a vessel with a capacity of 882 teu.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports, said: “Hundreds of cargo owners have already given their backing to the port as their natural trade gateway, and now more shipping lines are coming on board too. In these uncertain times, one thing that is sure is Liverpool’s prime location for serving the heart of the UK marketplace.”