Pan-European ferry operator P&O Ferries has revealed its plans to launch a new dedicated freight service starting from May 3 as part of an expansion of its route between Zeebrugge and Hull.
For this purpose, the ferry and logistics company has chartered the 118-metre containership Elisabeth, which will make three round-trips per week between the two terminals.
P&O Ferries said that the new sailings will complement its existing combined tourist and freight service between Hull and the Belgian port, with the two ships on the route undergoing a GBP 8.5 million relaunch earlier this year.
“The new service will offer fast and efficient turnaround times in both ports, with our recently expanded Zeebrugge terminal having optimised handling at our freight gate to help customers’ delivery commitments. We will carry all types of lift units on the new service including containers and swap bodies,” Janette Bell, Managing Director of P&O Ferries, said.
“We expect demand for sea transport to and from Britain to increase in the years ahead, driven by a rising population and the continuing strength of the British economy. Our expanded freight service between Zeebrugge and Hull will further increase our customers’ options for the fast and reliable delivery of goods,” Bell added.
Earlier this month P&O Ferries reported that it had carried more freight across the English Channel in the first three months of the year than in any first quarter in its modern history, with the company’s six ships on the Dover-Calais route transporting 361,100 lorries – an 11 percent increase on the same period in 2016.
Sailing on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium, P&O Ferries operates 20 vessels which carry more than 10 million passengers, 1.6 million cars and 2.2 million freight units every year.