The ferry and logistics company’s six ships on the Dover-Calais route transported 361,100 lorries during January, February and March. This figure was almost 11% higher than the corresponding period in 2016 and 9% higher than the previous best ever Q1 in 2012.
In a sign of the rising importance of the cross-Channel transport of goods to the economies of both Britain and Europe, P&O Ferries set individual monthly freight records in January, February and March respectively.
Janette Bell, managing director, P&O Ferries, said: “We are committed to delivering a reliable, punctual service with the lowest possible waiting times to anyone transporting goods between Dover and Calais.
“Our performance during Q1 shows just how many businesses across Europe rely - either directly or indirectly - on the services we provide. Our ferries are a vital conduit for the transport of fresh fruit and vegetables, building materials, components for production lines and much else besides."
“We expect demand for cross-Channel transport to increase, driven by a rising population and the continuing strength of the British economy.
“It is essential for our customers from all parts of Europe that maintaining secure, safe and efficient passage through the ports of Dover and Calais is a priority for both sides negotiating Britain's departure from the European Union.”
During the quarter, two of P&O Ferries' English Channel ships - the Pride of Canterbury and the Pride of Burgundy - spent several weeks each in Poland's Remontowa shipyard for major life extension work.
Both vessels have now been relaunched and are back in service.