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P&O Ferries notches-up record Zeebrugge -Tilbury volumes

P&O Ferries notches-up record Zeebrugge -Tilbury volumes
P&O Ferries, some 60% of whose traffic is freight rather than passengers, has reported record Q2 traffic on its Zeebrugge-Tilbury route.

The company carried a total of 58,195 freight units, a 15% rise year-on-year and the highest quarterly total in the nine-year history of the route.

Janette Bell, chief commercial officer at P&O Ferries, said that Continental exporters increasingly viewed the Zeebrugge-Tilbury route as a fast and reliable way of delivering goods as close as possible to London, for which reason P&O is now making “a major investment” in expanding its terminal and rail infrastructure at Zeebrugge.

P&O has two ships serving Zeebrugge-Tilbury, Norsky and Norstream, with main cargoes including wine, mineral water, detergents, consumer goods and motor cars from a number of major European manufacturers.

Last year the company carried 1.34m freight units across the Channel, a 22% increase year-on-year more than in any previous year since 2003. Partly this was due to the ceasing of operations by rival MyFerryLink in mid-year, its two vessels then being removed from service for the rest of the year to undergo refurbishment prior to redeployment by fellow Channel operator DFDS.

Meanwhile, ongoing migrant security issues affecting the port of Calais are also thought to have contributed to a shift of some former Calais-Dover traffic to the Zeebrugge-Tilbury route.