Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New African Freight Service for UK Container Shipping Terminal

Reefer Option for Moroccan Customers
Shipping News Feature

UK – MOROCCO – This week saw the London Container Terminal (LCT) in Tilbury announce an extension to the agreement it has with Hamburg headquartered short-sea shipping and logistics specialists Oldenburg-Portugiesische Dampfschiffs-Rhederei (OPDR) to handle cargo on the German group’s new liner service from Agadir, Morocco. Forth Ports acquired LCT (formerly Tilbury Container Terminal) nearly three years ago from joint owners DP World and Associated British Ports and now handles over 200 calls per annum for OPDR services.

OPDR says its ‘Argan Express’ service offers short transit times to South and Northern Europe, five days in the case of Tilbury. The shipping line will employ three 700 TEU vessels which provide space for up to 120 reefer containers on the weekly service. OPDR now has various routes between the Iberian Peninsula including the Canary Islands, North Africa and the UK whilst the group’s newly established subsidiary, OPDR Maroc, headquartered in Casablanca, has opened an office in Agadir to support the newly launched service connection. Till Ole Barrelet, Chief Executive Officer of the OPDR Group, said:

“The new express service is especially designed for perishable cargo, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, from Agadir to the UK market. We are happy to have LCT as a partner with [its] fast connections to the metropolitan area of London and beyond.”

LCT, one of the eight British ports now owned and operated by Forth Ports, handles in excess of half a million containers per year, and is capable of servicing both deep sea and short sea customers. Perry Glading, Chief Operating Officer of Forth Ports, observed:

“We are thrilled to be growing our relationship with OPDR, whom we have worked with over the past year, with this additional call from Agadir, Morocco. LCT has the perfect shipping location for OPDR’s services, with a sophisticated supply chain infrastructure and fast and reliable connections.

“We have the experience, expertise and equipment to deliver a first rate service and we continue to invest significantly in LCT, as we work to integrate container handling across both the deep sea and short sea operations, further securing Tilbury as a key shipping and distribution location with unrivalled access to London and the South East of England.”