CMA CGM has increased the capacity on its West Coast Feeder service via Liverpool to 2200 TEU from 900TEU Nicolas Delmas began calling at the port in April. The service begins in Antwerp and also calls at Greenock, Belfast, Dublin and Le Havre.

Patrick Walters, Group Commercial Director at Peel Ports, said: “This is yet another encouraging step as we build up to the opening of Liverpool2 in the summer. The message about the cost, congestion and carbon emission benefits to cargo owners of shipping via Liverpool is really taking hold and the lines are responding to the market opportunity. While we are still having positive discussions about deep-sea services calling at Liverpool2 with a number of carriers, it is really helpful to see increases in feeder services and vessel capacity as a means of underlining the case for getting closer to market via Liverpool.”

Rob Waterman, Chief Executive of CMA CGM UK, said: “This is further evidence of our commitment to providing shippers with an attractive range of services to meet their supply chain needs. This increase is a response to clear demand from our customers and we see the potential for significant growth via Liverpool. This additional capacity, along with our fast transit times and frequent sailing schedules, will help them get their goods closer to market more efficiently.”

It is the latest in a series of positive developments for the Port of Liverpool operators Peel Ports, with several other major lines announcing new or expanded services in 2016.

The company’s new Liverpool2 container terminal is to have a phased opening, with marine trials beginning in May and other elements of the semi-automated terminal coming online in the next few months, building to the first phase of the new terminal being fully operational in the autumn.