Peel Ports has doubled capacity of the container barge service on the Manchester Ship Canal between Liverpool and Manchester
By tying two barges alongside each other with both then being pushed by a single tug, the capacity has risen from 160 TEUs to 320 TEUs per journey.
The service provides an alternative to the motorway network which will reduce traffic congestion on the M62.
Stephen Carr, head of business development for the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal, said: “The Port of Liverpool has seen a significant increase in container volumes over the last few months – driven by supply chains looking for a lower cost solution to serve northern and central Britain. The further increase in the use of the Ship Canal demonstrates the desire of many organisations to use water to get their product as close to their customer as possible.”
He pointed out that more than 300,000 containers per annum travel between Southern ports and the North West of England, “a number that increases to over a million road journeys per annum when the area is expanded to include the rest of Northern Britain and Ireland. From both cost and environmental angles, these numbers are simply not sustainable and cannot continue.”