Monday, June 13, 2011

RoRo Freight Ferry Service Under Threat Again Say Haulage Firms

Service Cuts on Scotland's Only Direct Trailer Route to Europe Bode ill
Shipping News Feature

SCOTLAND – BELGIUM – The news that DFDS Seaways had withdrawn the RoRo freight ferry Cimbria Seaways from the Rosyth – Zeebrugge route last month has sparked rumour and pessimism amongst local Sottish haulage companies. Our article on Christmas Eve last year held hope that an increase in freight capacity meant that there was confidence that the support for the route was appreciated.

DFDS had just cut the passenger service on the route completely but the addition of an extra freight carrier to the route allayed fears that, after the third change of ownership, the service had settled down. Now the withdrawal of one ship means only three crossings per week instead of the four which had been offered previously and several local haulage groups have voiced concern. 

According to local reports the news has come as a blow to the South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran) which is calling on businesses in both countries to actively support the ferry route. The group points out that their intention to decrease the reliance on road transport by utilising rail and sea services would be seriously compromised if local hauliers were forced to use English ports such as Hull and Newcastle with all the associated extra mileage involved.

Nobody was available for comment at DFDS due to the European Bank Holiday.