AS part of the recent Northwich River Weaver Festival, Tata Europe worked with local charities to combine a bit of supply chain nostalgia with current events.

Reflecting the old waterways supply chains an historic narrowboat was contracted to ship the Queen’s Jubilee earthenware from the Potteries in Stoke into Northwich.

After discharge the boat was reloaded with a Tata Europe cargo of salt, soda ash and sodium bicarbonate bound for discharge at Tata Europe’s port operations at Runcorn, part of the Manchester Ship Canal system.

Previously the ancient waterways supply chains followed the River Weaver, which flowed directly into the River Mersey.

However, in 1894 the Manchester Ship Canal was formally opened by Queen Victoria, which severed this direct river/estuary connection.

During the 1990s the restrictive water draft and lock beam meant that Northwich could no longer be directly serviced by modern sea-going vessels and Tata bulk cargoes are now exported from Runcorn Port with container shipments routed via all the UK major deepwater container ports.

It was good to reflect on the past but focusing on the future it is great to report that our global supply chains to every continent on the planet are coordinated in our Northwich operations as we continue to play our part in the future success of our town.

Being a local lad and second generation employee I thoroughly enjoyed Northwich River Weaver Festival.


Supply chain contracts manager, Tata Chemicals Europe