Freight News, Sea

Samskip adds Tilbury-Portugal link

[ October 16, 2019   //   ]

Shortsea shipping line Samskip has launched a new, direct weekly service between Portugal and the UK, introducing its own vessel operating between Tilbury, Lisbon, Leixões and Rotterdam. The chartered 1,000teu ship will sustain a UK-Portugal transit times of five days, while continuing to offer four-times weekly services from Rotterdam to Leixões and weekly to Lisbon via space booked with other carriers.
Samskip expects the upgrade to increase its Portugal-UK volumes by 30-40%, according to Samskip trade manager Iberia, Lisa Westerhuis. “We have been building our multimodal presence in Portugal for over a decade through shortsea, rail and last mile road services. Now, Samskip is responding to growing UK-Portugal demand with its own ship: when new capacity is required, we seek solutions where reliability and efficiency is in our own hands.”
At Noatum Maritime Services, Samskip’s agency in Portugal, international commercial managing director, Luis Paz da Silva says that 45ft long containers are key in persuading Portuguese importers and exporters to switch away from road haulage. “The 45-footer is especially competitive with trailers at distances of up to 200km from the ports, including cross-border,” he says, estimating that the 45ft market in Portugal today is four times what it was 10 years ago.
Over the past decade, Samskip has built strong relations with Portuguese exporters to the UK, with food and drinks businesses a specific target for the new direct service. Southbound, the European Samskip multimodal network that feeds shortsea links out of Rotterdam was being boosted by Norwegian exports in transit after the integration of the company’s 2017 acquisition Nor Lines, says Paz da Silva.
“People are paying attention to shortsea for door-to-door services as never before and the timing is right to introduce a higher quality direct shortsea link. We also envisage this route as a platform for value added services, such as cross-docking and LCL, and a new opportunity to work hand in hand with Deepsea carriers.”
Westerhuis points out that, as well as aligning with EU transport policy aspirations, the shortsea option brings significant CO2 emissions savings over road.
With continuing doubts over Brexit, Samskip has strengthened customer services in Portugal and its UK customs team. .