IN a further sign that trade flows to and from Britain remain robust, P&O Ferries today reports a 14 per cent year on year increase in freight volumes at its two continental rail hubs, Zeebrugge and Europoort, in the first half of 2017.
Between January and June the ferry and logistics company handled 42,421 units which were being shipped from the two rail hubs across the North Sea to the east coast of Britain – an increase of more than 14 per cent. Zeebrugge accounted for 30,154 units with Europoort making up 12,087.
The news follows P&O Ferries’ announcement earlier this month that it had carried more freight across the English Channel in the first six months of 2017 than in any first half of the year in its modern history.
Janette Bell, Managing Director of P&O Ferries, said: “This outstanding performance at our terminals in Zeebrugge and Europoort illustrates that continental exporters are increasingly using our integrated rail and ferry service across the North Sea for reliable and punctual access to key markets in mainland Britain.”
“Once the goods reach our rail terminals on the continent, we offer 98 sailings across the North Sea every week. Our services to Teesport are a point of entry for the north of England and by rail to Scotland, our Hull routes serve the M62 corridor across the Pennines to Manchester and Liverpool, and our ships to Tilbury put exporters within easy reach of London and the M25.”
“With both the British economy and population continuing to grow, we expect increasing demand for this door-to-door service which is ideally suited to the requirements of exporters across the continent of Europe.”
P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium. It operates more than 20 vessels which carry 10 million passengers, 1.6 million cars and 2.2 million freight units every year.
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 and Romania. A P&O Ferrymasters-owned rail terminal in the northern Romanian city of Oradea, which will facilitate the onward movement of goods to Britain from the Silk Road, became operational last year.