Port of Hull benefits as freight volumes grow
ATTRACTIVE GATEWAY: A P&O Ferrymasters container is loaded at a port.
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 21 Jul 2017
THE Port of Hull is continuing to prove an attractive gateway for continental exporters as new figures show freight volumes have grown significantly over the past year.
P&O Ferries has reported 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 this year, suggesting the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has done little to affect trade flows to and from the UK.
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 ports of Hull, Tilbury and Teesport – an increase of more than 14 per cent.
Earlier this month, P&O Ferries revealed it had carried more freight across the English Channel in the first six months of this year 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.”
P&O Ferries sails 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.
With P&O operating four daily ships in and out of the Port of Hull, along with a newly launched lolo service, the city remains P&O’s principal port on the east coast.
The latest figures show that between January and June, Zeebrugge handled 30,154 units destined for the east coast with Europoort handling 12,087.
Mrs Bell said she expected these figures to further increase.
“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.”