In March, transport minister Gillian Merron approved the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company’s proposed Seaforth River Terminal – the first post-Panamax container terminal on the west coast.
The £90 million development on the River Mersey would almost double container capacity at the Port of Liverpool which is currently the UK’s third ranked deep sea container port and a major gateway for container trade with North America.
Liverpool last year handled 630,000 teus. It serves more than 100 non-European locations across the globe from the Americas, to the Indian sub-continent, the Far East and China.
The new terminal will be created by building a river wall from the corner of Royal Seaforth Dock to Gladstone Lock, close to the mouth of the Mersey. The triangle will then be filled in to create a 17-hectare terminal. The river berths would accommodate modern post-Panamax vessels (ie those above the maximum size capable of navigating the Panama Canal) increasingly used in international container trades, which are too large to gain access through the lock gates to the existing Seaforth container terminal. Fully developed, the new terminal would be able to handle half a million twenty-foot equivalent container units per year, effectively doubling present capacity.
Bristol also has plans to expand its facilities with plans for a deep sea container terminal to be built on reclaimed land in the Severn next to Avonmouth docks. The terminal would have 1.2 km of quay with 10 post-Panamax gantry cranes with a maximum 67 metres outreach. There would be four deep water berths.