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Samskip restores Amsterdam-Hull link

[ August 24, 2020   //   ]

Multimodal operator Samskip has reintroduced direct links between Amsterdam and Hull ahead of finalised Brexit trade negotiations. The service will operate three times a week from 5 September between the TMA Terminal Amsterdam and ABP’s Queen Elizabeth Dock, Hull, augmenting the separate Rotterdam-UK routing.

The Amsterdam-Hull link was suspended in March during the corona crisis.

Head of UK trade, David Besseling, said that while the total market fell, “the reliability of multimodal transport into the UK persuaded new shippers to convert from trailers to containers during lockdown, especially from Italy.”

He added: “Some trades remain subdued, but structural volumes from the paper, construction and chemicals sectors are returning to pre-COVID levels: the time is right to re-establish Amsterdam-Hull.”

Initially, the 300teu Vanquish will depart on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for next-day UK arrival, with services largely focused on 45ft container loads. However, with expectations high of rising demand for multimodal after UK-EC trade negotiations are concluded, Besseling says Samskip is keeping its options open on adding capacity from early 2020.

He added that there is strong and growing demand for cross docking services in Amsterdam, where trailer loads are increasingly being converted to container loads for the UK: “Higher frequency sailings into Hull create new supply chain possibilities for UK importers.”

With drivers in short supply in Europe, low diesel prices are encouraging hauliers to focus on Continental business instead of running trucks into the UK. Recent trailer rate rises represent hard evidence of a short sea market tipping in favour of the container, he says.

Besseling concluded: “Our experience has been that container transport’s ability to scale-up quickly and reliably proved compelling in the face of the uncertainties brought by previous deadlines, but then some of that freight returned to ferries as those deadlines simply became negotiation staging posts. This time, faced with new bureaucracy, driver shortages, trailer parks on motorways and COVID-related ferry schedule uncertainties, we expect a sizeable chunk of clients to stay with multimodal.”

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