How one company is investing in the UK’s demand for chocolate

The challenge

The UK is among the main consumers of chocolate in Europe, with the average person enjoying around 11kg per year. For products made in the UK, 55,000 tonnes of cocoa beans – 90% of the UK’s demand – arrive through the Port of Liverpool every year.

Established manufacturers in nearby Yorkshire and North Wales are able to take advantage of the shorter journey times between the Port of Liverpool and their factories, allowing for a significant reduction in inland transport costs and carbon footprint for the supply chain involved in delivering to the factories.

With cocoa season – which runs from October to April – fast approaching, it’s important to have robust processes that support the high volume transaction of goods through the port in place.

The solution

During the cocoa season, over 250 containers of cocoa alongside 50 containers of coffee beans arrive per week into the Port of Liverpool.

In response to this demand, CWT Commodities, the UK’s leading importer of cocoa and coffee beans, has leased a plot of land from Peel Ports, on which sits a new 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse. This warehouse – along with CWT’s existing eight warehouses already on site – provides a total space of 150,000 sq. ft., capable of housing produce imported from all around the world, including Africa, South America and Asia.

From the warehouses, Peel Ports can organise overnight delivery of the boxes from quayside to CWT’s warehouses, allowing daytime operations to transport the beans on to their final destination.

As part of Peel Port’s value added service, the cleaning of empty containers ready for re-distribution can also be organised – a valuable advantage during the busy season with approximately 70% of cocoa and coffee bean imports arriving in containers.

Jason Cross, Director of CWT Commodities UK, said: “The continued investment from CWT reinforces our confidence in the Port of Liverpool’s position as the premier logistics hub when it comes to importing food and drink into the UK.

“The investment we have made in logistical infrastructure such as the warehouses wouldn’t have been possible without the strong partnerships formed over many years, and we are excited to complete the new facilities and the future growth opportunities this will offer.”

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