Stellantis is benefitting from a sustainable logistics service opened this week that will see EV parts shipped from Spain via the port of Vigo and delivered to a new logistics hub at Merseyside docks in the UK. From there the parts will be moved to its nearby Ellesmere Port assembly plant.
Logistics provider Suardíaz and Peel Ports have invested the £10m ($12.4m) to develop the Green Automotive Hub for Stellantis, which will be managed by Suardíaz. It is located on a 3.8-hectare site at Queen Elizabeth II Dock in Eastham, part of Peel Ports’ Mersey cluster. The companies recommissioned a berth at the dock and installed the infrastructure to support the processing of ro-ro vessel cargo.
The new twice-weekly maritime route feeding the hub will take an estimated 14,700 lorry journeys off the roads between Spain and the UK, saving approximately 17.5m km and reducing CO2 emissions by 30%. Stellantis said the service contributed to its Dare Forward 2030 plan aimed at making the carmaker a carbon neutral group, globally, by 2038.
“We’re thrilled to be marking the opening of the new Green Automotive Hub at Queen Elizabeth II Eastham dock,” said Diane Miller, plant director at the Ellesmere Port plant. “Following the start of electric vehicle production earlier this year, this is another important milestone for Ellesmere Port, enabling us to establish a sustainable supply chain through a new maritime shipping route with our sister plant in Vigo, Spain. I’d like to thank Peel Ports and Suardíaz for their collaboration on this ground-breaking project.”
According to Stellantis each vessel moving between Spain and the UK will be able to take up to 95 trucks. The cargo will comprise around 47 different part lines of sheet metal parts and components that will be used in the assembly of the all-electric compact vans produced at Ellesmere Port. The packaging used to transport the parts will be returned to Vigo port on the return leg to be reused for subsequent trips.
Juan Riva, president and CEO of Suardíaz said: “This new Suardíaz Terminal is the result of the excellent collaboration between Peel Ports and Suardíaz, as well as the trust vested by Stellantis in Suardíaz to establish and execute the supply chain for the Ellesmere Port plant over the next five years.”
Riva added that the introduction of biofuels to power its ships will further strengthen the company’s commitment to decarbonise maritime-land corridors. Added to which, it is working with Peel Ports on the use of cold ironing, or short-to-ship power, while vessels are at berth. It is also collaborating with its partners on the use of electric trucks for final-mile delivery of the parts to Ellesmere Port, which is around 3km from the hub.
Peel Ports has also committed to improving the sustainability of its operations and aims to become a net zero port operator by 2040.
The Ellesmere Port plant produces the Vauxhall Combo Electric, Opel Combo Electric, Peugeot e-Partner, Citroën ë-Berlingo and Fiat E-Doblò, compact vans. From 2024, Ellesmere Port will also produce a range of electric passenger vehicles across the Stellantis brands, including the Vauxhall Combo Life Electric, Peugeot e-Rifter and Citroën ë-Berlingo MPVs.