Port to port

With roots dating back as far as 1795, Peel Ports Group embodies more than 300 years of proven industry experience, within the ports and terminals industries. Indeed, as the owner and operator of six UK ports and terminals, the business is today renowned as one of the largest port groups in the country. The company is committed to a programme of continued investment that will cement its future expansion and the group has further developed an increasingly diverse service offering throughout the market. This has enabled Peel Ports Group to be wholly capable of handling in excess of tens of millions of tonnes of cargo annually, while servicing more than 100 destinations across the world. Indeed, by mixing the strengths of the company’s flexibility and efficiency in addition to promoting progressive partnerships, Peel Ports continues to provide its clients with innovative and state-of-the-art shipping and logistics solutions.

Peel Ports Group was previously profiled by Shipping & Marine during January 2016, during which time the company has worked to aggressively expand its market presence, while continuing to ensure that it provides its customers with world-class port and terminal services. “As a group we have continued to be very active during the past 12 months and have since acquired the Port of Great Yarmouth into our portfolio. We have also had a successful year in terms of underlying growth across all of the industry sectors in which we operate,” details Deputy COO, David Huck. “There have been two flagship projects that have gone live in the last 12 months, which are represented by our award winning Biomass Terminal in Liverpool and the Liverpool2 deep-water container terminal that opened in November 2016.”

Since the opening of Liverpool2 Peel Ports Group has completed a number of vessel trials relating to berth commissioning and ship to shore operations, while the company is currently in the process of undertaking the final commission of cantilever rail-mounted gantry (CRMG) cranes within the yard. Indeed, the opening of Liverpool2 has been broadly successful with the terminal achieving several positive trials and the on-going integration of equipment and services. The construction process during the development of the site has also been executed in a highly successful and professional manner, with relatively few obstructions or delays.

“As would be expected with an any major construction project the development process did encounter a few challenges along the way, but clearly when you are dealing with a large marine engineering project valued at £400 million it can be difficult to foresee every eventuality. We did inevitably encounter a few construction delays, but the project has progressed extremely well overall,” David elaborates. “We have achieved stage one of terminal opening in terms of ship-to-shore and CRMG applications. These ship-to-shore cranes are all fully commissioned and the terminal presently boasts five automated CRMG cranes that are in full operation. The Navis N4 Terminal Operating System (TOS) has been fully integrated with ten-lane AutoGates, which means that hauliers are able to transit either Terminal One or Terminal GroupTwo while utilising a single operating platform. We are currently finalising the last aspects of commissioning after which we will be transferring a service from Royal Seaforth Container Terminal (R CT) to the Liverpool2 terminal. We are also very active and in advanced discussions with lines to bring them closer to their customers in the coming months.”

In addition to the ground-breaking development of the company’s Terminal2 project, Peel Ports was pleased to announce the official opening of a second flagship project through the opening of its biomass terminal located at Liverpool’s Gladstone Dock during 2016. Since going live the terminal has supported the Drax Group at its facility at Selby by handling large volumes of wood chip pellets that are delivered from North America into Liverpool. Peel Ports operates two screw continuous screw unloaders that are conveyor linked to three silos, which enable the company to undertake immediate direct delivery via rail or through a combination of other logistical solutions.

In an eventful period for the business, Peel Ports has also completed the acquisition of Great Yarmouth Port Company Limited (GYPC) from International Port Holdings for an undisclosed sum. This has enabled the company to extend the scope of its operations while building on the existing strengths of Peel Ports to further drive the business forward over the coming months.

“If you look at our business we have a very diverse portfolio, but what Peel Ports hasn’t had is a presence on the east coast to complement the company’s south east operations at London Medway. By moving east we are able to push more into the offshore and service markets, which is an area where we are already extremely strongly represented across the west coast. Therefore the acquisition of GYPC is a combination of an ambition to grow our geographic presence, as well as to take advantage of the growing opportunities and expertise within these markets,” David says.

“Throughout the company we do not compete from a single operating model, but instead deliver from several diverse platforms. In some cases for example, we operate as landlord for facilities, or as a stevedore and we also operate vessels through our PG Freight business. In terms of what our business is all about, for us it is really focused on delivering logistic solutions,” he concludes. “Most of the commodity sectors in which we operate are strong and we are seeing the positive effects of this, particularly within our head office in Liverpool. We have invested around £750 million into Peel Ports over the last 18 months, which has enabled some solid growth across the business and a lot of this has been supported by our Cargo200 initiative. We currently have more than 200 businesses that support Liverpool2 and during the next few years we will continue to invest in our people to match the development of the company’s infrastructure.”

Peel Ports Group
Significant investment into the business
International presence
Growing infrastructure and logistics solutions