Port-centric logistics cuts out unnecessary legs within the supply chain by carrying out various functions at the port itself.
Be it full processing, product finalisation or simple storage solutions, a port can fulfil a wide range of logistics activities. The close proximity to market or next stage of processing minimises the risk of disruption as a result of congestion, maximizing your responsiveness to market demands.
E-commerce to your door
Do you think your e-commerce delivery from a high-street brand came from one of their regional warehouses? It might have done, but it might also have come from an on-port warehouse, making the journey from ship to warehouse and into the dispatch system as efficient as possible, with no unnecessary legs introduced. Similarly for importers that are not sufficiently large to merit their own distribution centres, they can rent as little as one pallet space at a port to support their needs.
This is already happening at the Port of Liverpool.
Milling grain at the port
A large share of processing of grains and cereals takes place at ports, because of course it makes sense for that initial phase of manufacturing to occur as close as possible to where the product enters the country. Often imported wheat, corn, beans, or other products, are discharged into large storage compounds, which then feed adjacent milling or crushing facilities, getting the product off the ship, into storage, and onward to the plant without going anywhere near a public road. This is nothing new, and had been taking place long before the term port-centric logistics fell into fashion.
There are three large processing facilities fed by conveyor from Liverpool’s grain terminal, including Europe’s largest grain corn mill.
And in the food supply chain, it’s not just agribulks that can have value added at the port. If you’re importing bananas through a southern port, why truck them into the Midlands for ripening, only to have to deliver them back to the South, when you can get it all done without leaving the port in the first place?
There is a banana ripening facility at the Port of Sheerness.
What about treating timber at the port, rather than at another plant, so the first leg of its journey can be to the builders merchant, instead of to an interim facility? That saves on the trips from the port to the processor, and from the processor to the merchant. What about bagging or packing other materials too, and consolidating them at the port, so the road trip ensures greater utilisation of trucks? While you’re at it, you could throw in pallets of bricks as well, and send the truck directly to the construction site.
Peel Ports provides on-port treatment for timber products at customer request.