Monday, May 14, 2018

Logistics Group Expands Intermodal Freight Link After RoRo Ferry Route Closes

Increase in Domestic and European Cross Border Capacity
Shipping News Feature
UK – BELGIUM – Following the news just a couple of weeks ago that DFDS was to close its Rosyth - Zeebrugge freight ferry services, following a serious fire which incapacitated its regular vessel on the route, it seems that another RoRo outfit, P&O Ferries, has sensed an opportunity. The integrated ferry and logistics company, which currently carries more than 100,000 freight units a year to Teesport from its continental hub at Zeebrugge, is to lift capacity on the route by almost 25% within the next month in order to create a gateway to Scotland via an intermodal link to the north-eastern port.

The RoRo service, currently served with 12 sailings per week using the 25,000 tonne Bore Song and the 10,000 tonne Mistral, will benefit from a plan to increase the capacity of its ships combined with the introduction by PD Ports of a new rail service to Mossend in Scotland. The timetable of both services will be fully integrated so that freight can be moved from one to the other with minimal delay. Janette Bell, Chief Executive of P&O Ferries, said:

"The most reliable way for exporters to or from Scotland to transport their goods is via Teesport. The 15 hour sailing is more cost efficient than more northerly routes and by integrating our timetable with PD Ports' new rail service to Scotland we can guarantee customers an unrivalled service to and from northern Britain."

This opinion was echoed by the ECS & 2XL European Logistics Group, the hybrid outfit formed this time last year by ECS and 2XL, both family owned companies originally emanating from Belgium and which support the evolution of the current service. Pieter Balcaen, Chief Executive, commented:

“Our mission is to create sustainable and reliable logistics, which means that we focus on sustainable transport and multi-modal solutions to add value to our customers. The Teesport Rail initiative started three years ago, with a reliable level of service from day one. The increased ferry and rail capacity will enable us to further develop and strengthen our rail connections to/from Scotland – this is vitally important for our intermodal solution for our two products: Commodity Full Loads or one step beyond Supply Chain Solutions.”

For its part the news of P&O’s increased investment in the route was greeted warmly by the management at PD Ports, with Chief Executive Frans Calje, adding:

"PD Ports is at the centre of an increasingly important logistics hub based at Teesport. We have a strong and historic partnership with P&O Ferries and we are supporting this expansion by providing additional capacity for their upsized Zeebrugge-Teesport route through even more investment in our rail services to Scotland. PD Ports has extensive rail capacity with direct intermodal links across the UK and with a new, second planned daily service to Scotland imminent, we will shortly see further opportunities for cargo movements to and from Scotland."

Photo: Bore Song under way.