The value retailer has announced plans to have all of its cargo come into the Port of Liverpool in a permanent move, following frustrations with delays at southern ports.
B&M has already run a trial through the port, and has taken the decision to run 80% of its stock via Liverpool, upping the volume by 30% in recent months.
The bargain retailer, which operates 600 stores, said it has taken the decision amidst “ongoing distress in southern ports”, leaving it increasingly frustrated with delays and ongoing inland logistic issues.
Over the coming months, B&M expects to shift all cargo to Liverpool in a permanent move, citing quicker lead-times and a reduction in road miles afforded by the port’s central location as key reasons for the move.
B&M head of supply chain Jerome Wildsmith said: “Over the past few years, we have strengthened our relationship with the Port of Liverpool, importing increasingly larger volumes of cargo and taking advantage of strong partnerships with our shipping operator Maersk and our inland logistics supplier, JWT Commercial.
“We recently increased our imports into Liverpool from 50% to 80% of our total cargo, with a view to converting this into a permanent move. As we continue to grow the business, we’ll be able to offer our customers a more efficient service as well as reduce our carbon footprint thanks to the fantastic connectivity provided by Peel Port’s multimodal services.”
Peel Ports head of commercial (containers) Roger Megann said the port was proud to strengthen its partnership with B&M, adding: “It also marks a further shift away from southern ports, with problems only expected to worsen, as Brexit moves closer; congestion shows no sign of easing and delays get longer.”
Peel Ports has invested £400 million over the past three years to create a new deep-water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool. Dubbed Liverpool2, the construction is designed to expand the large transatlantic port and create one of Europe's most advanced container terminals. It is capable of accommodating the world's largest container vessels, which the company says will future-proof the facility to allow global shippers 'ship-to-door' access to major import and centres at the heart of the UK.
It also hopes that Liverpool2 will offer exporters based in the North a more competitive route to international markets.