Feature, Freight News, Road, Sea

P&O vows to take back Channel top spot as fifth ship returns

[ April 29, 2021   //   ]

P&O Ferries has a fifth ship on its Dover-Calais route, saying that it would take back market leadership on the English Channel.

Pride of Burgundy – a 28,000 ton vessel with a freight capacity of 120 lorries – will return to the route in June, restoring the P&O Dover-Calais fleet to its pre-pandemic strength. The ship will sail in freight-only mode.

In 2019, P&O Ferries’ share of ferry freight volumes on the Dover Strait (excluding the Channel Tunnel) was more than 50% since when it has become part of Dubai-based global ports and logistics operator DP World.

P&O’s rivals are the Channel Tunnel, DFDS, which operates services from Dover to Calais and Dunkerque and, from June, a new Irish Ferries Dover-Calais single ship service. DFDS has also announced plans to start a new Sheerness-Calais service for unaccompanied freight.

Chief executive of P&O Ferries, David Stretch, said the fifth ship would “increase flexibility for customers and enable us to deliver a cost effective freight service on the English Channel as the economy returns to normal. Dover-Calais is a vital trade route both for the UK and EU economies as well as the thousands of businesses which rely on our services and we aim to return our market share back to where it belongs.”

He also promised: “P&O will do everything it can to continue being the brand you can trust to deliver your goods from beginning to end, with the aim of solving the most complex logistical challenges using our integrated ferry and logistics assets.”

DP World chief operating officer for logistics and technology, Mike Bhaskaran, added: “I would like to thank everyone at P&O Ferries who has worked hard to keep trade flowing during the last 12 months and am excited by the opportunities which the arrival of a fifth ship on Dover-Calais brings, both in terms of our offer to customers and also returning P&O to growth.”