DFDS Broadcasts New Path to France, Bypassing Dover

Ferry and logistics firm DFDS has introduced a brand-new route from Sheerness at this time.  Beginning June 1, the corporate will provide one each day crusing in every course between the port and Calais.

The brand new route is being launched in response to an elevated demand for unaccompanied freight providers.  As much as 165 unaccompanied trailers per crusing shall be carried on the corporate’s Ro-Ro vessel GOTHIA SEAWAYS.

DFDS’ service would be the first common ferry service to make use of the Kent port since Ferrylink/Eurolink closed down in 1996.  The corporate survived lower than two years on the Sheerness – Vlissingen route which had beforehand been provided by Olau Line.  In contrast to DFDS’ new service, each Eurolink and Olau Line carried passengers

Nearer to London

Sheerness is positioned a lot nearer to London and the M25 than Dover.  DFDS hopes that it will show engaging to clients who’re reassessing their transportation plans because of the challenges introduced by Brexit and Covid-19. In accordance with Sheerness port proprietor Peel Ports London Medway, the service will exploit capability partly enabled by resilience funding granted throughout 2019 by the Division of Transport (DfT)

DFDS is reported to have carried over 4,100 unaccompanied models between Dover and France throughout February 2021, and round 7,650 because the begin of the yr.  February’s figures signify an 18% improve for Dover general and a greater than trebling for DFDS on Dover – Calais versus 2020.  It’s understood that a lot of this site visitors is anticipated to switch to the brand new Sheerness route. Competitor P&O Ferries stopped carrying unaccompanied site visitors late final yr. Total accompanied freight site visitors by Dover has declined versus final yr, nevertheless. This means there was at the very least a partial shift to unaccompanied freight on the channel.

The brand new freight-only service follows an identical short-lived service provided by P&O Ferries between Tilbury and Calais.  That route closed in January 2020 following what was understood to be very poor ranges of site visitors and industrial motion.

Wayne Bullen, DFDS’ Freight Gross sales Director, mentioned: 

“We’re actually happy to be including a brand new unaccompanied freight service to the intensive route community that DFDS already gives. Sheerness advantages from glorious street hyperlinks with a detailed proximity to the M25 orbital ring, which is good for items heading to the London space and the Midlands”. 

“Sheerness guarantees to be an outstanding ‘accomplice port’, with an bold plan to develop its providers over the subsequent decade. We additionally proceed to cement our partnership with the port of Calais and are excited to be increasing our providers to the port because it marks the fulfilment of its multi-million-pound enlargement challenge”. 

“Launching a brand new route right now is a powerful indication of our dedication to our clients, our confidence within the recognition of DFDS providers and an funding that may assist to spice up each the UK and French economies. It aligns with our enterprise technique, serving to us to increase our freight community and provide options that assist our clients, communities and our personal enterprise to develop.”

Jean-Marc Puissesseau, Chairman, Port of Calais, mentioned: 

“We’re very proud that DFDS, first RoRo operator in Europe, selected the port of Calais to suggest its new unaccompanied path to the UK. It’s a clear signal of confidence within the skill of the port to create worth for our purchasers. This new service will completely match with the rail motorways in operation in Calais coming from Italy, Spain and southern France”.

Richard Goffin, Port Director, London Medway mentioned: 

“We’re delighted to welcome a brand new unaccompanied freight service from DFDS. That is the primary ferry service since Olau Line ceased working in 1994. Over the previous yr, now we have Brexit-proofed quite a few our ports, together with London Medway, growing resiliency to deal with extra cargo to assist scale back delays and maximise efficiencies for purchasers to supply a extra engaging proposition and UK entry level over different southern ports. Our strategic location gives proximity to market advantages, and we’re persevering with to drive ahead with deliberate funding in our individuals, processes and expertise, creating additional alternatives for our clients by diversification, in addition to the creation of as much as 100 direct and oblique native jobs.”

Cross-channel capability grows

The brand new route will begin simply weeks forward of the introduction of DFDS’ new passenger and freight ferry CÔTE D’OPALE on the Dover – Calais route throughout July.  This may additional improve passenger and freight capability on the Dover Strait.  Presently DFDS has a complete of six ships crusing from Dover.  The smallest of those, CALAIS SEAWAYS, is at the moment anticipated to get replaced by the brand new vessel. CÔTE D’OPALE is anticipated to start sea trials subsequent week.

SALAMANCA seen with CÔTE D’ OPALE on 2 March 2021 at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai). Image: DFDS
Brittany Ferries’ SALAMANCA seen with DFDS’ CÔTE D’ OPALE on 2 March 2021 at China Retailers Jinling Shipyard (Weihai). Picture: DFDS

DFDS’ announcement follows affirmation from Irish Ferries that they intend to begin their very own Dover – Calais route throughout June.  Whereas to-date solely ISLE OF INISHMORE has been named as allotted the service, it’s understood that the corporate is in search of to have as much as three vessels serving the route.   ISLE OF INISHMORE is at the moment in dry dock at Brest having been launched from the Roslare – Pembroke route by BLUE STAR 1 yesterday.

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