Deep Water...the shape of things to come

Liverpool2 will see post-Panamax vessels - the biggest ever to take to the seas - call directly at the Port of Liverpool when it opens in 2015. The landmark development began to reshape the course of the River Mersey, for good.

It seems that everything is getting bigger, from cars, bags and even shipping containers. On the global waters the shift begins in a canal thousands of miles from the Mersey basin. The Panama Canal is being widened to enable it to welcome the world's largest container vessels. These post-Panamax vessels of up to 13,500 TEU (20 foot equivalent - the measurement used to size out container ships) will be able to call directly at the Port of Liverpool in 2015, the same year the Canal will be finished.

This, like the ships, is huge. The deep water terminal will attract some of the world’s largest container vessels to a centrally-located UK distribution hub and a population of 35 million consumers within 150 miles. A new 854 metre-long quay wall with some 30,000 cubic metres of concrete will be constructed, and three million cubic metres of infill will be needed to create the planned new container area.

Gary Hodgson, Chief Operating Officer of Peel Ports explains why Liverpool will benefit from the widening of the Panama Canal.

"It’s no coincidence that Liverpool2 opens for business at the same time that the Panama Canal re-opens after being widened in order to enable the transit of larger vessels. Liverpool is clearly in an advantageous position for vessels coming into Europe on Atlantic sea routes, and the expansion of the Panama Canal means we are likely to see increased volumes of vessels coming from the Far East via the Panama Canal to serve the East Coast of the USA and then on to Europe.

Liverpool’s traditional overseas customer base has been dominated by Ireland and North America, but there is also substantial opportunity in the rapidly growing markets of South America. We are seeing more shipping from the South America region coming in to Europe."

Liverpool 2 will also open a doorway to what is planned to be the UK’s greenest freight corridor. The Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal are united for the first time integrating 44 miles of waterway allowing cost and carbon savings to shipping lines, importers, exporters and logistics businesses.

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The Maritime, Logistics and Energy themed week at IFB 2014 takes place week commencing: 9 June 2014. For more information please contact IFB Theme LeaderPhilip Southward at

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