University partnership to improve port innovation

The University of Liverpool’s Management School has entered into a partnership with Peel Ports Group, one of the largest port operators in the UK, to enhance its newly formed Innovation Forum.

The Forum aims to answer some of the port operator’s most challenging questions in its effort to reduce carbon emissions, and as part of its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2040.

The University’s Management School will now become a key partner in Peel Ports’ Innovation Forum, which also looks to bring together a broad range of suppliers including starts-ups, entrepreneurs and consultants to explore the biggest issues in accessing and purchasing carbon-neutral solutions for the group’s seven sites across the UK and Ireland.

In what is understood to be an industry-first for any UK port operator, the Peel Ports’ team will raise questions and challenges with members of the Forum and ask them to source solutions or develop ideas to address these. These include but are not limited to: exploring options for moving from diesel to greener alternative fuels such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO); trialling electric-powered forklifts; exploring hydrogen to power lorries; using electric cranes to minimise container movements (these can also generate energy to export back to the network); converting lighting to LED; and adding sensors and controls to reducing lighting.

“The Centre’s key research strengths are: transport and logistics; agri-food supply-chains; sustainable supply chain management; agile operations; and supply chain technologies, analytics and risk, so is well placed to contribute to Peel Ports’ objectives for the future,” said Professor Julia Balogun, Dean at the University of Liverpool Management School. “The partnership will also help inform our teaching and employability initiatives, ensuring that our students are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to become the next generation of leaders.”

“We have invested more than £1.2 billion on infrastructure projects over the past 10 years, and much of the focus of this investment has been on driving down carbon emissions as part of our ESG agenda,” added Lewis McIntyre, Managing Director – Port Services at Peel Ports Group.

“As an industry we need greater collaboration in developing pilot projects and sharing knowledge. Our Innovation Forum is designed to address some of the biggest challenges in reducing carbon emissions. We will invest in the best innovation and deploy at scale.

“This new initiative will give us the advantage we need to stay ahead whilst providing opportunities for businesses in the Liverpool City Region and beyond.”

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