Chocolate demand gives port of Liverpool a boost

The UK’s largest importer of cocoa and coffee beans is to build a major new warehouse at the Port of Liverpool to accommodate growing demand from food and drink manufacturers.

CWT Commodities is leasing the land from Peel Ports and has engaged Mazdon Construction to build the 36,000 sq ft warehouse and new offices, which is in addition to the eight warehouses it has already built on the Liverpool site. Construction has begun and is expected to be completed later this year.

Nearly 65,000 tonnes of cocoa beans, more than two thirds of the UK’s demand, arrive via Liverpool each year due to its proximity to factories in Yorkshire and North Wales. The port also handles around a third of the UK’s annual 150,000 tonnes of coffee bean imports. Approximately 80% of the cocoa and coffee beans arrives in containers, with the remainder in bulk vessels. The cocoa beans largely originate in Africa, mainly Ghana and the Ivory Coast, with the coffee coming mainly from Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia.

Jason Cross, Director of CWT Commodities UK, said: “The Port of Liverpool is strategically important to us due to its geographical location resulting in reduced inland transport costs and carbon footprint for the supply chain involved in delivering to the factories.

“The continued investment we have made in logistical infrastructure such as the warehouses wouldn’t have been possible without the strong partnerships formed over many years with Peel Ports and Mazdon Construction. We are excited about the completion of the new facilities and the future growth opportunities this will offer.”

Alex Hemmings, Managing Director of Mazdon Construction, said: “Having designed and built CWT’s previous warehouse schemes at the Port of Liverpool, we are pleased to be undertaking our third phase of warehouse construction with adjoining offices on three levels. Our successful relationship with CWT over the last 10 years has been founded on our ability to understand their commercial and operational needs, providing them with a bespoke design and build service here in the UK and ultimately delivering value engineered storage and handling facilities to meet their growing requirements.”

Andrew Martin, Peel Ports Group Land and Property Director, added: “This further investment by CWT reinforces the Port of Liverpool’s premier position as the logistics hub that connects food and drink manufacturing and processing centres across the northern half of the UK.

“CWT has been a highly valued customer for many years and we’re delighted to support them in the next stage of their growth in the UK market. We thank them for investing in the Port of Liverpool. We would also like to thank Sefton Council and Natural England for their support in making this development happen.”