P&O Ferries has formally opened its expanded terminal at Zeebrugge, which doubles capacity so that the ferry and logistics company can meet rising demand from continental exporters to Britain.
From its Zeebrugge hub, P&O Ferries operates services across the North Sea to Tilbury, Hull and Teesport respectively; it also operates incoming rail services to the Belgian port from Central and Eastern Europe. The terminal has now been enlarged by 14 hectares, comprising a fourth berth and significantly enhanced rail infrastructure.
Helen Deeble, Chief Executive of P&O Ferries, said: “As the British economy continues to grow, we have made this investment because we have confidence that we can provide a one-stop transport solution for continental exporters who want to do business with the hugely important UK market.”
“We will be able to offer our customers additional vessel capacity. We’ll be able to grow third party handling activities here at the terminal such as rail units headed for the Zeebrugge hinterland. And we will have the capacity to conclude new partnerships such as our existing one with Swedish Orient Line, which links our Zeebrugge hub to Gothenburg, and by extension Gothenburg with the east coast of Britain.”
P&O Ferries this year celebrated the 50th anniversary of its operations in the Belgian port. Last month the company announced that the number of freight units it transported between Zeebrugge and Teesport in Q3 had grown by 16 per cent year on year. In the same quarter, the number of freight units which the company shipped between Gothenburg and Britain – courtesy of its partnership with SOL via Zeebrugge – almost doubled compared with 2015.
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 20 vessels which carry more than 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 earlier this year.