Tuesday, April 28, 2020

As Gloom Envelopes European Ferries a New Freight Service Begins

RoRo Route Inception Despite the Virus Worries
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND – BELGIUM – At a time when ferry services are facing a crisis on a scale hitherto unknown some good news emerges on the RoRo freight front with the announcement of a new weekly service between Cork, Ireland and the Port of Zeebrugge, in Belgium.

The new service, which began operations on April 24th, is part of a significant expansion by Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Navigation (CLdN) which is working with the Port of Cork reinforcing that city’s commitment to supporting businesses in the region and preparing for any eventuality Brexit may still bring.

The Port of Zeebrugge, Europe’s largest RoRo handling port, lies within 550 kilometres of 60% of the EU’s purchasing power. More than 200 global ports have direct links with Zeebrugge, and Irish access to it will further strengthen the Port of Cork’s role as southern Ireland’s gateway to the world. CEO of Port of Cork, Brendan Keating, said:

“This announcement by CLdN will greatly support our efforts in the Port of Cork to keep supply chains moving during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The Port has been actively looking at ways to bolster its freight activity and is delighted to partner with a company that enjoys such a great reputation in the shipping industry.

”Introducing this new connectivity to Zeebrugge not only helps Port of Cork to protect supply chains during the current crisis, but also adds a direct freight only link with the heart of Europe.”

The Port of Cork, which also controls the Bantry Bay Port Company, is a key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of just two Irish ports which service the requirements of all shipping modes employing 150 staff across all its locations. Recent investments include the €80 million Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy, due to open later this year, and which will facilitate the natural progression of the move from a river, to a deep water port thus future proofing the Port of Cork itself.

CLdN currently handles over one million cargo units with its European short Sea roll on – roll off specialist, CLdN Ro-Ro SA, utilising a fleet of thirty modern vessels with in excess of 130 sailings per week between the ports of Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, London, Killingholme, Dublin, Gothenburg, Esbjerg, Santander and Porto.