Friday, December 24, 2010

New RoRo Freight Ferry Schedules Announced

DFDS Rosyth-Zeebrugge Route Upgrade
Shipping News Feature

UK – BELGIUM – Following our article in August regarding the withdrawal of passenger services on the Rosyth-Zeebrugge service following their takeover of Norfolkline, DFDS Seaways has outlined details of its new, enhanced freight service on the freight ferry route. The new schedule, which takes effect from January 5, will see two ships operate on the route providing four departures a week from each port, allowing cargo capacity on the service to be significantly improved.

DFDS have also reconfigured sailing schedules to accommodate the delivery demands of key operators, specifically early Monday morning arrivals in both Rosyth and Zeebrugge. The current vessel, MV Scottish Viking, will cease operations today as a freight only service today and DFDS Seaways will also move to a dedicated Ro-Ro terminal in Zeebrugge, which has direct intermodal rail freight connections and room for further expansion, from the start of the new freight only service.

The new ships to be deployed on the service are the Tor Finlandia and the Tor Cimbria and both vessels will have capacity for around 130 trailers whereas the Scottish Viking could only accommodate 120 trailers. Withdrawal of passenger facilities upset the Scottish Tourist Authority and DFDS point out that they continue to operate a daily passenger service from Newcastle to Amsterdam, offering Scottish customers a continued opportunity to travel to Europe by making a short car journey across the border for travel with or without their vehicle.

Commenting on the operational changes Allan Hull, Route Director of DFDS said:

“The freight service between Rosyth and Zeebrugge has been very popular with the haulage industry, which has recognised the benefits of the route providing the only direct Ro-Ro link between Scotland and the continent. While it was a matter of deep regret that the passenger service had to be withdrawn, we saw potential in enhancing the freight service to meet increased demand from the sector.

“We have sought to not just to expand but to improve the service to meet the demands of the freight trade, not least with the early arrivals and later departures. The new schedule offers great potential to the freight industry to expand their use of the route, which can only serve to underline the importance of the Rosyth-Zeebrugge link to Scotland.”