A million bottles of whisky set to sail from Scotland to Far East after game-changing new trade route opens up – Angus Robertson MSP

Scotland’s international trade is going from success to success.

The Allseas Pioneer cargo ship has arrived in Clydeport from China, bringing textiles, furniture and toys for sale in Scotland, and will depart more than a million bottles of whisky (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA)
The Allseas Pioneer cargo ship has arrived in Clydeport from China, bringing textiles, furniture and toys for sale in Scotland, and will depart more than a million bottles of whisky (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA)

Already Scotland has won the most foreign direct investment of any part of the UK outside London. The huge number of high-quality products and services on offer in Scotland are sought the world over, too.

Now, a new and important component of our international trade network has been established – a direct shipping route between Scotland and the Far East which will cut trading time in half and avoid imports and exports getting caught up in Rotterdam, which has hampered some trade in the past. It will also help counter the increasing pressures on global shipping routes.

It has been described as a “game changer” by the managing director of KC Group Shipping, one of the three companies involved in the partnership. He says he has been “amazed at the level of immediate interest” from companies in Scotland and China.

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The first cargo ship, the Allseas Pioneer, arrived in Clydeport at Greenock – Scotland’s deepest container terminal – from Ningbo in China earlier this week, bringing textiles, furniture and toys for sale in Scotland. It will depart with a shipment of more than one million bottles of whisky.

It is a great endorsement of Greenock as a key player in the international trade network in Northern Europe, and for Scotland as a vibrant and globally engaged economy. In a time of increasing costs, we need to take all opportunities to bolster all parts of the Scottish economy to support as many livelihoods as possible. This new trade route will help do that.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary