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P&O breaks Channel freight record in 2015

P&O breaks Channel freight record in 2015
P&O Ferries transported more freight between Dover and Calais in 2015 than any other year in its “modern history,” amounting to 1,340,317 trucks.

The result is a 22% year-on-year increase over 2014, and is due in part to disruptions at the channel tunnel, which caused a 172% year-on-year increase in HGVs on is separate Teesport to Zeebrugge route throughout the month of July. The group pressed a sixth ship back into service on the English Channel that month in order to increase capacity.

Commercial director Janette Bell said: “During a period when the media has been continuously writing about delays at the Channel tunnel, we have made it a priority to minimize dwell times for our customers by keeping a sixth ship in service on the route and maintaining a schedule of 58 sailings a day.”

Bell said the picture for ferry sailings in the future remained positive. "We expect demand for cross-Channel transport to increase, driven by a rising population and the strength of the British economy. The vast majority of our freight customers are businesses transporting goods from continental Europe to Britain."

The news will come as positive, too, for regulators at the European Commission, after many commentators throughout 2015 expressed concern that the new 0.1% sulphur cap in the North Europe ECA would force truck cargo onto roads, increasing CO2 emissions.

"The cross-Channel ferry business is a vital strategic link in the transport infrastructure of north-western Europe and these numbers illustrate that hundreds of thousands of firms rely on our services to import and export goods," concluded Bell.