The Manchester Ship Canal, from Liverpool to Manchester, was built in 1894 and was once large enough to serve any ocean-going ship. Now a new container barge service is operating on the canal, saving on costs and cutting carbon emissions.
“If you go into central Europe, Germany, the Rhineland, lots of barges are used,” said Gary Hodgson, the managing director of the Port of Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal.
“However, over the last 25 years, the ship canal has been very much under-utilized, and we’re now revitalizing that excellent asset we have.”
Says Hodgson, some 10,000 containers are now being shipped down the canal — a service he says is already reaping benefits in terms of savings to consumers and, thanks to the barges’ lower carbon emissions, the environment.
But, he says, with the canal only taking 5% of container traffic handled by the port in Liverpool, there is considerable room for improvement. There are hopes that the canal will take up to 200,000 containers.