Roll-on/roll-off cargo specialists SCH have secured a contract to discharge Ford vehicles arriving at the port of Liverpool from the US and Europe.
SCH, which handles more than 200,000 ro-ro units a year, discharges twice weekly shipments of Ford cars and vans to adjacent port standing, for onward transport to Ford dealers.
The shipments from Ford’s factories in the US and Europe are carried on Atlantic Container Line con-ro ships, with predicted volumes of over 25,000 vehicles per annum.
SCH already carries out cruise ship work in Liverpool, turning round or handling the transit calls of more than 50 ships a year through the Merseyside port using local labour.
The same personnel now have the opportunity to join the ro-ro team, which is supplemented by additional local agency staff.
SCH Director Ian Morrison commented: “Throughout the group, we handle over 200,000 ro-ro units a year in addition to port terminal and railhead management activities. This extension of our business to include Ford models arriving in Liverpool further underlines our credentials as a leading UK handler of vehicle cargoes.”
SCH has completed a successful summer season for cruise ship services with some 150 ships handled around the UK.
The biggest number of ships was handled in Southampton were Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises provided the mainstay of the eight-month season, with RCI’s Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas operating a full programme of cruises throughout Northern Europe.
SCH’s expertise in baggage and stores handling also helped to ensure that Liverpool maintained its role as the northern hub of UK cruising with more than 50 turnaround and day calls. Further winter calls are scheduled for Fred Olsen Line’s Black Watch ship.
Portsmouth, where SCH’s sister company Southern Maritime Services provides exclusive cruise ship services, hosted more than 40 turnaround and calling cruise ship calls, while the programme will also continue into the winter with Saga Cruises operating its vessel Saga Pearl II from the port.
SCH Director Lee Davis commented: “This summer’s operations have again demonstrated our role as the UK’s most extensive provider of cruise ship services, with the SCH parent group also responsible for valet parking tens of thousands of passenger cars.”