OVER 1M BOTTLES OF SCOTCH WHISKY ONBOARD FIRST SCOTLAND-CHINA DIRECT CONTAINER SERVICE
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Source: Greenock Ocean Terminal
More than a million bottles of Scotch whisky are heading to China from Scotland in the first ever direct shipping container service between the two places.
The container ship Allseas Pioneer arrived in Greenock Ocean Terminal to the west of Glasgow from Ningbo in China last Saturday morning, carrying containers of textiles, furniture and toys for sale in Scotland.
The vessel was then loaded with tens of thousands of cases of Scotch whisky and departed the Scottish terminal in the evening on the same day on its route back to China.
The new direct service will have three sailings per month in each direction, calling at Ningbo, and the Chinese city of Shenzhen, before arriving in Greenock Terminal via its sister container terminal at the Port of Liverpool.
It is expected to cut the journey time from about 60 days to an estimated 33 by eliminating unscheduled port congestion delays in European or southern English ports.
Six ships - each capable of carrying about 1,600 shipping containers - will operate on the route, which was established as a response to growing global supply chain disruptions.
The direct link between the two countries was established in a partnership between KC Liner Agencies, DKT Allseas and China Xpress.
David Milne, managing director of KC Group, hailed the new direct service as “a game changer for Scotland” and “a massive boost for Scottish businesses which can only help consumers in these difficult times”.
Milne said: “We’ll be toasting the success of over 1 million bottles of Scotch whisky being traded from the first vessel alone, and we’ll raise a glass to all the other businesses which will also benefit.”
He added: “the uptake in the service is certainly proving that case, for Scotland’s furniture, pharmaceuticals, packaging and spirits sectors.”
Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, noted that the freight side of Greenock Ocean Terminal can often be overshadowed by the busy cruise ship schedule, but praised the new direct container service for its boost to the economy “locally, regionally and nationally”.
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