Peel Ports EM Athens at Port of Liverpool
Port of Liverpool

The blurring of supply chains continues, as Peel Ports moves into the forwarding business with the acquisition of UK-headquartered Quality Freight.

The takeover of the freight forwarder was announced today, and a spokesperson said the company would continue to operate as Quality Freight with Sebastian Gardiner as managing director

Peel chief executive Mark Whitworth said: “Our strategy is to be a leading UK provider of port-centric logistics solutions. We are looking to drive additional volume through our infrastructure and the Quality Freight business model will allow us to deliver that objective.”

He added that, with the acquisition, he hoped Peel Ports would be able to increase value-added services beyond the stevedoring and storage currently offered.

Alongside port services, Quality Freight also supplies air, express, project and breakbulk, road and sea services globally.

“I believe this is an important milestone which will allow the Quality Freight business to continue growing,” said Mr Gardiner. “And it will also allow the company to explore other opportunities with existing and new customers.”

Since the start of the year, Peel has been on a growth trajectory, having announced plans to hire 250 staff over the course of 2019.

“Ours is an increasingly diversified business across locations, services and commodities. That’s allowed us to continue thriving despite Brexit uncertainty,” said Mr Whitworth. “This is an excellent opportunity for driven and bold business leaders from across the supply chain sector that want to make an impact with a company that’s as ambitious as they are.”

Over the past six years, the port operator has a recorded a 7.2% compound growth rate, with last year’s turnover alone increasing some 11%. This spike in revenue coincided with the 2M shipping alliance bringing in a transatlantic container service and the creation of new rail freight service from Liverpool.

On top of this, it also opened a new linkspan at the port of Heysham last year, while the expansion of the Liverpool2 terminal continues.

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