New freight-dedicated ferry line between France and UK

2021/08/05 at 10:13 AM

European leading ferry operator DFDS has extended its network of maritime services. It added a new freight-dedicated route between Calais and Sheerness to intensify traffic of unaccompanied freight from mainland Europe to Britain and vice versa. The new line will be performed daily in each direction.

DFDS has launched a new ferry line across the English Channel. Since late July, the company’s ro-ro vessel Maxine, which can transport up to 165 unaccompanied freight units, has been sailing between Calais and Sheerness. The ship arrives daily into Sheerness early in the morning, at 05.00, and departs towards Calais at 11.00.

The Maxine ferry of DFDS connects Sheerness and Calais, source: Peel Ports

“It’s the first ferry service we’ve welcomed at Sheerness in more than two decades and its launch has helped create further opportunities for our customers as well as the creation of up to 100 direct and indirect local jobs,” said Richard Goffin, port director of London Medway (the former ports of Sheerness and Chatham – IntermodalNews.eu), which is operated by Peel Ports.

Freight shift

The Danish ferry shipping line launched the Calais-Sheerness route due to a growing demand for unaccompanied freight services from haulage companies as a result of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, the vast majority of the unaccompanied freight between France and the UK is moved via the two company’s combined (passenger and freight) services from Dover to Calais and Dunkirk. DFDS is expected that the situation will be eventually changed and the freight volumes will be switched to the new route.

Peel Ports has been investing in the port facilities in Sheerness and Chatham, which are known as London Medway. As a result, the English harbour excellent access into and around the UK. “Sheerness benefits from excellent road links with close proximity to the M25 orbital ring, which is ideal for goods heading to the London area and the Midlands. With the current shortage of freight drivers, across Europe, expanding unaccompanied freight transport will provide a logical solution,” noted Wayne Bullen, freight sales director at DFDS.

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