Have you ever wondered what really happens to your cargo at a port?


To celebrate two centuries of trade between Spain and the UK, MacAndrews and the Port of Bilbao hosted an event at Peel Ports, Liverpool.

Customers were treated to an exclusive behind the scenes experience of port operations. Speakers included Mark Copsey, CCO, MacAndrews; Gary Hodgson, COO, Peel Ports and Asier Atutxa, Chairman, Port of Bilbao.

Mark opened proceedings by introducing MacAndrews’ trajectory and vision. From our humble beginnings trading fruit between the Iberian peninsular and Liverpool, we’ve evolved into an intra-European multimodal logistics company. No longer just a shipping line and not simply transport. MacAndrews future is about collaborating with customers on new projects.

Gary’s speech gave insight into the broader trade environment that keeps Peel Ports busy. A reminder that maritime is the backbone of UK trade. Port of Bilbao showcased their facilities, highlighting just how important trade between and UK and Spain is.

Following a health and safety briefing everyone was ready for the tour, clad in hard hats and high visibility clothing.

Three top moments were:

Pollux vessel at work.The Pollux vessel serves one of the 7 weekly services from Bilbao, on the NWUKService.

Attendees were delighted to see the real operations of containers being moved. The intricate planning is eye-opening.It also contextualised the importance of providing verified gross mass . Containers must also be positioned correctly to avoid vessel instability. A brief encounter with truck life followed, with attendees simulating the life cycle of cargo on a truck as we chugged about the port on a bus.

Trip to the top of the 300ft Grain Tower unveiled views spanning the entire site. Standing at 35 storeys high, the ascent was both exhilarating and nerve wracking in equal parts. The lift terminated a few storeys from the top, forcing us to complete the 35 floor ascent on foot. The more intrepid attendees cautiously clutched their high visibility jackets, with hard hats gripped, fended off the boisterous sea breeze and climbed the stairs.

We were rewarded with a spectacular landscape revealing a vast expanse of port life.


Happy customers took this opportunity to snap selfies, we would love to see them so please share your best shots with us on Twitter @macandrewsandcoltd #greatvoyages

Unsurprisingly, the descent was more daunting!

Gladstone Dock was the final leg of the tour. Named after Liverpool based merchant Robert Gladstone, the dock opened in 1927 following a 20 year build and an investment of £8m. This engineering marvel ensures the water level is stabilised as vessels enter the dock. A charming close to a unique day.

We were privileged to experience the hustle and bustle of the port. It truly reflected the vibrancy and spirit of European trade and we look forward to another two centuries of successful partnership with Peel Ports and the Port of Bilbao.

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