Freight News, Sea, Road

Forth Ports sees shift to drop trailers

[ January 4, 2021   //   ]

Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports Group says that the trend is towards more unaccompanied (drop-trailer) cross-Channel freight after a 20% increase in unaccompanied freight between Tilbury and Zeebrugge.

P&O Ferries has added a further vessel to the route to cope with demand.

He said: “Breakdown of production lines, unpredictable industrial relations and increasing pan-European lorry driver shortages have led many in the logistics industry to examine the reliability of their current delivery options.

“With passengers largely disappearing from ferries across the North Sea, The Channel and the Irish Sea, the coronavirus epidemic has completely changed the dynamics of the logistics industry. In the absence of a cross-subsidy from passengers to freight units, greater exposure of the true end-to-end cost of moving goods is emerging. 

“Combine this with the need to abate climate change, reduce road congestion, tackle poor air quality and level up the economies of the regions, the momentum for change is growing. By bringing goods closer to the point of consumption or production, we could and should see new ferry and container shipping routes springing up. 

“Combine this positive with the greater use of rail for inward distribution, unaccompanied freight is the answer to a number of the questions of our time.”