A New Era for Steel & Metals International Trade: Connecting the UK

The demand for quality steel products to serve the UK market remains unabated since 2009 at around 11 million tonnes per year and growing.

The trend of increasing imports set against the reduction in share from the domestic mills continues however UK domestic steel manufacturers exported 3.4 million tonnes in 2016 making the UK the world’s 18th largest steel exporter, serving over 190 countries and territories.

Looking forward, UK trade and industrial policy, transport and power generation mega projects, construction demand and forecast annual UK GDP growth all suggest that demand for steel products in the UK is solid and growing.

It is essential therefore for the UK’s manufacturing, construction and automotive sectors, amongst others, to have ready access to essential materials such as steel and metals. The efficiency of supply chains for the industrial heartland in the Midlands and the construction capital in London and the south-east is a major part of the success of these industries.

Geography and proximity inevitably plays a key part in efficient supply chains for steel. Peel Ports operate the Mersey port cluster, the closest ports to the West Midlands where half the UK’s steel is consumed, and London Medway, ideally located to handle large, bulk, deep water vessels bringing imports from Europe, Asia and beyond to the UK’s south east region and the Capital. Both of these ports offer multiple berths, are constant deep water with drafts of 11m+, ‘non-tidal’ and capable of handling vessels from coaster size right through to larger, Handy class vessels.

Further north, we offer distribution of metals throughout Scotland from our bulk port King George V (KGV) and container terminal in Greenock. KGV benefits from deep water docking, 372m of quayside with 8.5m unrestricted draft, with both ports benefitting from exceptional efficiency and productivity in vessel loading, unloading, container devanning and excellent transport links.

On the east coast, Great Yarmouth port are skilled in handling cargos for the offshore, renewable, decommissioning, agri-bulk and aggregates markets. With non-tidal, deep water berths of up to 10 metres, 24-hour pilotage service, an abundance of outside storage space, European steel suppliers have never been so close.

In June 2016, we officially opened the expanded Liverpool Steel and Metals Terminal at its new home in North 3 Canada Dock following a c.£10m upgrade. The terminal is accredited to ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 standards, providing 260,000sqft (24,200 sqm) of internal storage with 80,000 tonnes of capacity and a total throughput capacity of >500,000 tonnes annually. The investment included spend across new automation technology and infrastructure

The £400 million investment at Liverpool 2 provides the only Panamax capable gateway to the north for containerised goods. This is already building on the tens of thousands of tonnes of containerised steel we received annually.

Recognising that the steel supply chain needs to be considered within the context of the ‘last mile’ delivery we aim to have close working relationships with hauliers local to our port facilities. Our strategic alliance with Denholm Handling is testament to this, ensuring our customers have access to a hauler network that can collect and deliver reliably and efficiently and operating under a shared and integrated customer service platform.

Our goal is to extend and grow our success in receiving bulk and containerised steel & metals right across the UK & Ireland and provide the UK metals market with an unrivalled opportunity to utilise our network of ports to import and export products around the globe, connecting suppliers as efficiently as possible to their customers and end users.

The demand for steel and other metals in the UK is clear. With one of the most sophisticated networks of ports in the UK for over 65 million tonnes of cargo, Peel Ports Group is a country-wide, diversified and attractive gateway to for the UK and international steel and metals markets.

Ross Walker, Business Development Manager - Steel & Metals, Peel Ports Group

For more information, contact Ross here.

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