MARINE-BASED commissioning work is now underway at Liverpool2, with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) committing vessel support to Peel Ports to help make the trial a success. Berthing and marine trials began last week with MV MSC Nederland and will be followed by a variety of cargo handling tests throughout July and August. As well as 3,007 TEU MV MSC Nederland, four other MSC vessels will be used during the trials – 2,668 TEU MV MSC Santhya, 2,768 TEU MV MSC Koroni, 4,340 TEU MV MSC Sandra and 4,355 TEU MV MSC Alyssa. The five vessels operate on the two MSC services currently calling at Liverpool – the North West Continent feeder service, carrying containerised cargo between Liverpool and worldwide destinations via Antwerp and Le Havre, and the Montreal Express service linking Liverpool and NWC hub ports with the Canadian port. David Huck, Port Director, said: “This is yet another major milestone for the project and we’re delighted to have the involvement of MSC in the initial marine commissioning and berthing trials at Liverpool2. Although the terminal has really been taking shape in recent months, seeing a container vessel alongside for the first time really brings home how much the team at Peel Ports has achieved.” Kelvin Wilden, Operations Director of MSC UK, added: “MSC has supported the Port of Liverpool for over 15 years and we’re very pleased to make our vessels available for the final commissioning stages of Liverpool2. The port is integral to us being able to offer our customers the widest port network of any line in the UK. We’re all very excited to be at the heart of the process over the coming months.” Liverpool2 is to have a phased opening through the summer with the first landside phase expected to be fully operational by autumn. Peel Ports recently completed construction on weighbridges at the Port of Liverpool to help cargo owners comply with the new SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) international regulations on container weighing. The multi-lane, in-process capability involved considerable work to install multiple dynamic axle weighbridges at the terminal AutoGates. It is linked with the terminal operating system and is able to automatically provide a verified gross mass (VGM) record for the container.