Chinese Ambassador hails key Port of Liverpool trade route, set for expansion

Ambassador Zheng Zeguang

The Chinese Ambassador to the UK has visited the Port of Liverpool to mark the success of the China Xpress vessel service, which is the first direct shipping route from the Far East to Liverpool.

Ambassador Zheng Zeguang was marking the first anniversary of the route which was launched by London-based shipping line, DKT Allseas, in May 2021, to address the supply chain disruption caused by the global pandemic and to enable the delivery of cargo to UK importers from their suppliers in China.

The 30-day service, which carries up to 1,700 containers from the Chinese ports of Ningbo and Shenzhen direct to the Port of Liverpool, is now set to expand with a feeder service link into the ports of Qingdao, Shanghai, Foshan and Nansha.

In addition, Allseas Global is also set to welcome the inaugural call of new vessel Allseas Pioneer into Liverpool this month.

Darren Wright, managing director at Allseas Global, said: “The Allseas Pioneer is the first in a series of six of our own branded container vessels, with an investment of over $150m, such is the commitment we have to this service and the customers using it to steady their supply chains. We are truly honoured by the Ambassador and Consul General’s visit to help celebrate and promote this unique and pioneering service direct from China to Liverpool.”

In his first visit anywhere outside London since the start of the pandemic, the Ambassador was accompanied by Zheng Xiyuan, China’s Consul General in Manchester and other senior embassy officials.

The Ambassador was also joined by Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Clare Louise Carragher and representatives from the Liverpool China Partnership, the Department for International Trade as well as local Chinese business representatives to mark the special occasion.

The Port of Liverpool was instrumental in enabling the Allseas Global China service to bypass the more congested southern UK ports and provide a closer entry point for the end destination of goods.

Ambassador Zheng Zeguang and Claudio Veritiero

The port is owned by Peel Ports Group, one of the largest port operators in the UK. The group invested more than £400m into Liverpool2, a deep-sea terminal which launched in 2016 and has since provided multiple global trade opportunities for global importers and exporters and shipping lines such as AllSeas.

Claudio Veritiero, chief executive at Peel Ports Group, said: “We were honoured to welcome Ambassador Zheng Zeguang and senior officials to the Port of Liverpool to mark the commemorative occasion. China is a key trade partner for the UK and our ports play a critical role in the future growth and development of this market.

“The investments we have made into Liverpool2 have supported a doubling in the value of trade between China and the Port of Liverpool, topping £1bn for the first time in 2021.

“With ongoing uncertainties surrounding the global supply chain, we are confident that with the right partnerships and trade, the Port of Liverpool will continue to drive prosperous futures for the benefit of many.”