Stephen Carr Multimodal 16 Blog

In my last blog, I talked about how the plan and vision we shared at Multimodal 2011 is becoming reality this year.  In the coming months , Liverpool2 will see its first ship berthed alongside the quay, whilst we have already opened the first of our multimodal warehouses at Port Salford on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.

2011 was also notable because it was when we introduced  a number of other offers into the market and it’s always worthwhile to review where we are today, five years on.

In 2011 we opened our first multiuser warehouse.  Launched using an unracked 100,000ft2 facility, we took our first tentative steps in redefining  the port-centric warehouse offer traditionally offered by ports?.  We had identified that the port-centric benefits were not available to the majority of the market because the size of facility or the length of term were too restrictive.

So our solution?

The minimum commitment would be one pallet for one week.  Suddenly, port-centric solutions, were accessible to all.

Five years on, the range of the offering has grown substantially.  We now offer fine pick solutions for delivery into the parcel network, offering a full suite of e-fulfilment .  We provide late configuration solutions and even have our own bean-bag filling maching.   We’ve added intermediate product management processes so when bulk food materials arrive at manufacturing plants, the product is ready for the production line, removing congestion and delay.  We’ve provided seasonal overspill capacity, full DC(?) by-pass services for promotional product lines, and even coped with demand spikes that you can only get from merchandisers to Disney after it launches films like Frozen!  We now occupy over 500,000ft2 of space – both racked and unracked – and are growing  every year.

We’ve continued to offer services to add value and remove inefficiency from supply chains outside of our multiuser warehouse too.  This is through offering a consistency of services for trucks arriving at our container terminal, offering a service to connect Liverpool to Manchester by barge; working with Typhoo to smooth the flow of loose tea into its bagging plant on the Wirral; and launching the “Irish Sea Hub” proposition to make it easier for shipping lines to reposition empty containers into Scotland and for laden exports to return to connect to shipping services in Liverpool.

And that’s all just in the container sector.  Across our UK-wide locations, we cover all major commodity groups passing through the country’s ports, offering our unique solution-driven approach.  Be it through our marine teams, stevedores or warehouse managers, or be it through our transport solutions – truck, BG Freight (our in-house shipping fleet) or barge service, our focus remains the same.

So it’s not surprising that when we defined our brand essence a few years ago, the phrase “More than Ports” was chosen.  This wasn’t some aspirational statement; it was a reflection of what our teams up and down the country were already delivering  on a day-in, day-out basis.

And that is as true today as it was in 2011.   We’re not content simply to operate a port.  We want to work with owners of cargo, forwarders and shipping lines to maximise the value we can create whilst a product is passing through the port environment.  And it’s that that makes Multimodal such a fascinating three days.  We never know the conversations we’ll have or the challenges people will bring, but more often than not it’s the catalyst for  a conversation that results in a solution being designed..

So if you’re at the NEC for Multimodal, pop along to our stand (1160) and find out why Peel Ports is “More than Ports”.

Stephen Carr
Head of Commercial Strategy & Planning


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