On The Route To Growth

The £400m project to create Liverpool’s deep-water container terminal continues to unlock major opportunities for the logistics sector in West Lancashire.

Skelmersdale-based Graylaw Freight Group’s chief executive Harry Hill described peel port’s investment as a “pivotal moment’ in reinforcing the North West’s strategic location.

Currently in its 35th Year of business the group has a turnover of more than £20m, employs more than 250 staff and operates more than 250 vehicles from its 15-acre site.

Harry says: “The ability for the port to handle the much larger container ships previously unable to dock there has allowed the Liverpool gateway to be truly global.”

Graylaw is “Ideally located” on the M58 sitting between the port and the M6 and

National motorway network.

Harry says: “This allows imported commodities to be received into our distribution terminal, handled, sorted and then dispatched anywhere in the UK on a next day basis.”

There are other positives for West Lancashire. Liverpool City Region’s investment in jobs and training has made more young people aware of the opportunities of a career in logistics.

Graylaw works closely with West Lancashire College, resulting in several apprentices with what Harry describes as a “can-do attitude” joining the business.

He adds: “industry continues to grow within the city region, with many companies choosing Liverpool to locate their business.

“Those requiring a distribution network to enable the final delivery of their products come to us as we are locally based with a national reach.

“Skelmersdale as a location provides many advantages. It’s an excellent base for us with the connections to the motorway network and also flexibility on routes when roads become congested.”

There are challenges, he adds. Public transport links are described as “poor”, with local commuting “not easy.” Not currently being on the rail network is also seen as a negative. However Harrys adds: “At times the unfair reputation of the area can be seen negatively by the uninformed but Slelmersdale has and continues to be a fantastic place for our company and has played a very significant part in its success.

As keen members of the local Skelmersdale ambassadors we are ‘doing our bit’ to sing the praises of the area, its people and the thriving business community to raise its profile in the region. “