Jouke Schaap, Port Director for Containers at the Port of Liverpool discusses the role Peel Ports plays in fulfilling the Government’s ‘Global North’ ambition, exporting products from the Northern Powerhouse region around the world
For many businesses, exporting requires a leap of faith. Even well-established and successful companies used to trading domestically can shy away from targeting international markets.
Often, the biggest hurdle is the unknown. Inexperience in logistics and getting goods from their UK origin to the final destination overseas can result in perceived difficulties – often putting companies off. However, in recent years, we’ve seen the supply chain significantly shift to become much more customer-centric.
For example, we’ve transformed how we work. We’ve seen roles evolve from simply shifting goods to and from vessels, and now provide an integrated service that covers warehousing and handling – as well as shipping. Our new rail partnership means our support now extends further inland across the UK.
This approach is a benefit to new or smaller exporters in particular. By working with their freight forwarder or other partners, we can provide a more seamless service tailored to individual requirements and reducing the risks and uncertainties that might have previously put them off.
For established exporters, we know that supply chain reliability is one of their biggest challenges. Shortening lead times is critical, helping them to reduce their inventory costs. Reducing transport costs and carbon emissions from their transport operations also remains a key focus.
The integrated approach offered by a full-service model is equally as beneficial to experienced exporters as it is to those exporting for the first time. We’re able to provide a more competitive offering as a result of combining various elements of supply chain services; they gain from both the improvements in service and the cost efficiencies.
This is where one of the most important issues in logistics comes into play. Data is revolutionising logistical analysis, allowing us to create a more open-source, transparent supply chain. This makes it easier to manage the planning and delivery of supply chain services by optimising manufacturing, warehousing, routes and final delivery.
We are also increasingly integrating data from various sources, such as ours and our customers’, to produce a more accurate picture of cargo movements and operational performance.
Implementing progressive working practices allows us to be much more than just a supplier. Our ambition is to be an essential partner for export businesses, opening doors to international markets that they might not be able to do on their own.
As such, we’re playing an increasingly important role in facilitating the export of goods made in the UK. Exporting has always been vital to the economy, and in a post-Brexit world, it is now more than ever. UK plc needs to maximise its competitiveness and international reach to ensure its continued prosperity. The supply chain community is already playing its part and is ideally placed to make even more of a difference in years to come.