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P&O Ferrymasters Open First Warehouse Facility in UK at Liverpool Ferryport

27th March 2018

#FerryNews - A first for P&O Ferrymasters as the logistics supplies-chain operator opened a warehouse facility in the UK located in the Port of Liverpool.

According to MultiModal, P&O Ferrymasters has further expanded its supply chain network by opening the 800 square metre warehouse in Liverpool docks ferryport. Afloat adds the English north-west is part of the Peel Ports Group (see report on rival UK ports group, ABP).

The warehouse support its customers with cross-docking operations and feed its connection with P&O Ferries’ Liverpool-Dublin sailings which Afloat adds is served by a trio of ferries. They are ropax sisters, Norbank and Norbay and the larger passenger orientated European Endeavour. The company is a division of P&O Ferries, which sails on eight major routes between Ireland and the UK, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

The warehouse - which will be open 24 hours a day and comprise eight loading bays supporting trailer and container operations - will give the logistics company an increased capacity to handle the projected uplift in daily full and part-load shipments across the Irish Sea. It will also support daily groupage and cross-docking operations, where loads from more than one customer are consolidated.

Andy Apsley, P&O Ferrymasters’ General Manager Ireland, said:“Following feedback from our customer base, we are introducing a cross-docking facility at Liverpool Port which will enable all customers to benefit from our portside location, streamline their logistical requirements and ultimately reduce their costs. Industry-leading IT systems such as load and cost optimisation and track and trace visibility will further enhance the customer experience.

“We manage more than 800 trailer movements a week into and out of the United Kingdom and our unique value proposition is being able to offer our customers – who come from all sectors including retail, fast moving consumer goods, automotive, and horticulture – a seamless, reliable and punctual service between Ireland, Britain and continental Europe.”

P&O Ferrymasters is a pan-European provider of logistics solutions. The company serves 20 strategic locations in 12 countries across the continent, operating integrated road, rail and sea links via a fleet of 4,000 trailers and containers. They also owns a rail terminal in the Romanian city of Oradea, which facilitates the onward movement of goods to Britain from Asian countries via the Silk Road.

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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