Links with Belgium are booming with port deals
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 11 Jul 2018
Hull’s port links with Belgium are continuing to boom as P&O Ferries announces record figures for its dedicated freight service.
The company announced it transported more than 8,500 lift units between Hull and Zeebrugge from April to June – an increase of four per cent on the first quarter of 2018.
The figure also means the freight service between the two ports has grown for a fifth quarter in a row.
Nick Pank, head of freight in the North Sea at P&O Ferries, said: "We designed this new freight service around the needs of our customers, who told us that reliability and the lowest possible terminal waiting times were what mattered most to their business. It is encouraging to see more and more of them making use of it.
"The service prioritises fast turnaround times in both ports, with the expansion of our Zeebrugge terminal including optimised handling at our freight gate to help customers with their delivery commitments.”
The integrated ferry and logistics company transported 8,532 lift units on the dedicated freight service between April and June – the best three-month period since the route began in spring last year.
The 5,000-tonne container ship Elisabeth operates on the route. It makes three round trips per week between Zeebrugge and Hull, alongside P&O Ferries' existing combined tourist and freight service.
The news comes a month after P&O Ferries significantly raised capacity on its Zeebrugge-Teesport route by deploying the 18,000-tonne Estraden, creating the fastest and easiest gateway to Scotland for exporters.
"Our 76 sailings across the North Sea every week - to Teesport and Tilbury as well as Hull - provide an unrivalled set of options for exporters to and from Britain and our rail hub at Zeebrugge is increasingly acting as a conveyor belt for goods produced across the continent of Europe,” Mr Pank said.
“We are at our best when we help our customers solve the most difficult logistical challenges, over sea and land."
P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing 27,000 times a year on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium.
It operates more than 20 vessels which carry 8.4 million passengers and 2.3 million freight units annually.
Together with its logistics division, P&O Ferrymasters, the company also operates integrated road and rail links to countries across the continent including Italy, Poland, Germany, Spain and Romania.
P&O Ferrymasters also owns a rail terminal in the Romanian city of Oradea, which facilitates the movement of goods to Britain from Asian countries via the Silk Road.