Manchester Ship Canal

Unique Inland Logistics Hub

The Manchester Ship Canal is a vibrant trading hub supporting a diverse range of industries. The ship canal forms part of an innovative carbon efficient 'Green Highway' - helping businesses reduce costs, carbon emissions and remove congestion from the roads.

Running from the Mersey Estuary into the heart of Manchester, our unique inland waterway is a 36 mile long seaway comprising of 5 terminals including; Port Warrington, Runcorn, Ellesmere Port, Salford Quays and QEII Docks.

What does this mean for you:

The Manchester Ship Canal provides you with a low carbon solution to deliver products directly in to the North West  reducing road miles – allowing your business to offer social value within the supply chain. It opens up opportunities to develop production facilities or construction hubs  and access to a wide range of commodity solutions as we transport  safely and efficiently.

We offer a full range of tailor-made solutions including:

  • Agricultural products
  • Construction Materials
  • Forest products
  • Liquid Cargoes
  • Metals
  • Project cargo
  • Multi-user Port centric warehousing and logistics

Key contact

What are the true benefits of inland water transport?

Q&A with Antoon Van Coillie, Director at Blue Line Logistics nv

Find out more

Port location

Running from the Mersey Estuary into the heart of Manchester, Peel Ports Manchester Ship Canal is a 36-mile long seaway forming part of Peel Port’s innovative ‘Green Highway’ and removing freight from overcrowded roads and rail. As well as a passage for moving good we operate  5 terminals;

- QEII Docks (Liquid berth)

- Ellesmere Port (Bulks and project cargo)

- Runcorn Docks (Bulks and project cargo)

- Port Warrington (Multi-user warehousing)

- Salford Quays (Third party operated quayside, warehouse and bulk store)

Commodities at Manchester Ship Canal


Our strategically placed ports along the canal offer a range of solutions as varied as the commodities we transport, an excellent road, rail and sea network and close proximity to major UK manufacturing bases and consumers, enabling lower transportation costs and a greener supply chain.

Dry bulks

We have a wide range of berthing options, providing flexibility in size for vessel charter, along with existing manufacturing and production locations. Our team at Runcorn has particular expertise of handling aggregates and this has led to many successful partnerships such as that with Ecocem.  

With a team of experienced stevedores, operatives and transport planners based at Runcorn and Ellesmere, we have the equipment and expertise to offer added value services such as bagging, rip/tip to tanker, palletising of goods and loading into or out of containers. This is alongside a range of storage solutions to ensure the integrity of any commodity type is retained.

Forest products

We have the experience and expertise you need to move your packaging paper, publishing paper, woodpulp, timber and panel products smoothly and efficiently along the length of the canal.

At Peel Ports we have a wealth of experience in handling a wide range of commodities including Biomass. With our state-of-the-art Biomass Terminal in the Port of Liverpool, and open quay storage space along the Manchester Ship Canal we can safely and efficiently handle and store Biomass.

Liquid bulks

With our third party alliances at several storage sites, we’re a trading hub for bulk liquids. It doesn’t matter whether your bulk liquids are fuels, oils, fats, additives or acids we are here to discuss solutions to help you store and process your bulk liquids expertly, safely, efficiently and cost-effectively.


We benefit from very close links to our major fully-automated steel terminal in Liverpool which is right next to our container terminal and a deep water berth that caters for bulk shipments. Perfect whether you want to send large or small shipments. These can then be shipped up the canal inland, saving you road miles. But that’s only half the story. Our facilities are as modern as our location is perfect. Your cargo could be handled and managed by our super-efficient automated cranes and state-of-the-art inventory control system in Liverpool. Here we can handle vessels carrying up to 50,000 tonnes with a 12.4m draft and 32.6 beam, which delivers major economies of scale.

Project cargo

At Peel Ports we’re great believers in thinking bigger. Whether it’s using a floating crane to load your oversized cargo directly from ship, or using the ‘Green Highway’ of the Manchester Ship Canal to scale up your construction supply chain and deliver it directly to site in the industrial heartland of Manchester. The Ship Canal can help you work more efficiently, reduce CO2 emissions and add ‘Social Value’ to your supply chain.  


We are ready for any Agri- bulk enquiry with a range of TASCC accredited stores available in Ellesmere Port, Runcorn and Manchester, including long term individual stores and short term multi-user bays. We have the know-how and experience to process and store organics, grains, processed feed compounds and fertilisers.

Solutions at Manchester Ship Canal


Under our stewardship, the Canal is thriving. Every year, The Manchester Ship Canal handles and stores millions of tonnes of cargo from wind turbine blades to from animal feed and biomass, to aggregates, sand, salt and chemicals. But we think we can do better. With growing pressures on carbon reductions, an increase in congestion around the City centres we believe the Ship canal can offer a unique opportunity to innovate the way we use transport in our key supply chains such as waste and construction material. Take a look at the solutions we offer and get in touch to see how we think we can help your thrive.

Marine services

Our marine team here at the Manchester Ship Canal manage the provision of key marine services to shipping operators along the canal. These include everything from tug services, marine pilotage and pilot transfer service to hydrographic surveying, maintenance dredging, navigation aid provision and mooring services. Wherever your vessel moves along the canal, it’s scheduled and controlled either through our vessel traffic service or respective local information service control centre.

Multi-user warehousing

Whether you want to simply store a few pallets in a multiuser warehouse or lease your own facility, our team of experts will be on hand to deliver your ideal solution. 

We can offer you a port-centric solution at the heart of the nation’s major population and manufacturing regions. Provide shared, multi-user warehouse space on a short or long term basis or even develop your own design and build warehouse

Port security

One of our most exciting plans in development for port-centric warehousing involves the Manchester Ship Canal. With over 3 Million sq ft of potential warehousing at Ports Salford, Bridgewater and Warrington, all with planning consents, we’ll be able to offer you a huge variety of solutions. This could easily become the most efficient logistics park in the country. And we already provide shared, multi-user warehouse space on a short or long term basis, give you the opportunity to lease or even develop your own design and build warehouse, provide you with a secure location in Liverpool with dedicated port police and help you benefit from an all-water route into the heart of the country.


We have the land footprint, the knowledge and the infrastructure, to help you design and build the perfect facilities on site. We can give you access to the North West and Midlands manufacturing centres and together we can tailor custom-built, port-centric facilities


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Properties at Manchester Ship Canal

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