Liverpool 2 container dock


Duration:2 years


Country: Liverpool, UK

What did this project achieve?


Build a port to take the world's largest mega container ships

Liverpool2 is one of the UK's largest private sector infrastructure projects, developed in response to changing patterns and shipping trends towards the use of 'mega' ocean-going container ships.

It required the construction of a deep water quay 854m long and 30m deep with an adjacent container terminal of around 16 hectares reclaimed from the mouth of the River Mersey. Two new berths now allow access for the latest generation of post-Panamax vessels which can carry loads of up to 135,000 containers.

The new terminal location is close to the Manchester Ship Canal (MSC). There are 10 motorways within 10 miles and 10 rail linked terminals within the port estate.

Once offloaded, containers are put onto smaller coasters capable of MSC navigation leading to direct West Coast Mainline trains and major motorway networks in the north west.

Piling work commences on the revamped dock

Piling work commences on the revamped dock

Project achievements and benefits

Liverpool2 can now handle the biggest cargo vessels in the world. Global shippers have a viable alternative, able to transport cargo more efficiently to their end destination. The result is a sustainable logistics option, enhancing regional economic growth, reducing transportation cost, vehicle congestion and carbon emissions.

The river deep berth terminal concept was originally conceived over a decade ago. Procured in 2012, the first piles were pitched in September 2013. Land reclamation commenced in February 2015, ship-to-shore cranes were off-loaded in November 2015 and the grand opening ceremony took place on 4 November 2016.

The existing dock entrance dock (built 1905) is not large enough for mega container vessels, so the new quay was located on the River Mersey enabling access to the largest vessels.

One of the tallest quay walls in Europe was required - to accommodate the draft of the vessels and 10m tidal range - standing at 30m high from the top to the bottom of the berth pocket.

The 854m long quay wall was formed by installing 13,500 tonnes steel and retains land that was created from 5.5m3 of sand dredged from the Mersey.


This project has transformed Liverpool’s skyline and connectivity to the world. Ambitious plans to expand the reach of Liverpool and the North can now be realised – changing the face of freight and distribution.

Alan Williams

Regional Chair ICE NW

Fascinating facts

16 hectares reclaimed from the sea to build the terminal. The site is large enough to accommodate the stadiums of all 4 major Liverpool and Manchester football clubs.

The new port facility services a catchment of over 35 million people, almost 58% of the UK’s population.

Although a truly international project with people from across the UK, Holland, Norway, Germany, Russia, Australia, China, India – over 75% of the workforce was local.

People who made it happen

  • Client: Peel Ports
  • Contractors: BAM Infraconsult, BAM Nutall, Van Oord, Royal Haskoning, Halcrow, Mott MacDonald

More about this project

Explore more civil engineering projects

I want to become a civil engineer.

See how your studies lead to a civil engineering career

The job you end up with in civil engineering is likely to link back to what you studied at school, college or university. Here you can see your options at any age.

At school

Up to 16 years

School / college

16-19 years

College / university

18 years +

Change career

Any age