A new freight service has been launched from the Port of Liverpool which opens a direct link between the North West of England and Northern Spain and Portugal.

Shipping company Containerships will offer a weekly loop service connecting Spain and Portugal to the UK and Ireland, largely for fresh foods, which the port says will help operators avoid long road trips during the Covid-19 pandemic and any delays at Channel ports that Brexit may bring.

David Huck, MD at Port of Liverpool operator, Peel Ports, said: “As the coronavirus wreaks economic turmoil around the world, modern supply chains face unprecedented stress. Finding ways to optimise and identify minimum lead times during the immediacy of the current crisis is paramount.

“As part of our national response we are developing new ways to manage essential supply chains such as fresh produce and construction materials. Containerships are proving to be a key partner for the terminal’s growth having increased their market share in Liverpool by 1.5% compared with 2019.”

Mathis Stöckmann, chief operating officer at Containerships, added: “It’s important now more than ever, that we continue to optimise our supply chain. Reducing minimum lead times, increasing our flexibility and being responsive to the market will ensure we are in a strong position to meet the fast and ever-evolving changes faced by our customers in the current economic climate.”