Freight News, Sea

Unaccompanied now quicker than self-drive freight, says Peel Ports

[ February 10, 2022   //   ]

Peel Ports says that transporting non-perishable freight unaccompanied is faster and more cost effective than relying on driver-accompanied hauliers between Europe and the UK. It says its new service introduced by DFDS between Calais and Sheerness based on this model has enjoyed three-fold growth in the last year. The service was launched on 1 June last year with a daily sailing in each direction operated with space for up to 165 unaccompanied units.

The port operator is calling on logistics firms to look for proven alternatives to avoid the problems of customs delays at South East ports and the acute shortage of lorry drivers, says Peel Ports.

Although the sea-leg is longer, routing via ports such as London Medway is just as efficient as the existing options through the Dover Straits, as road miles are reduced, argues Peel. Longer sea voyages also allow for clearance checks to be completed without the pressure of a 90 minute crossing increasing throughput and capacity.

Richard Goffin (pictured), port director at London Medway – which encompasses Sheerness – said: “We must come to terms with the growing levels of congestion that is evidently slowing down our economy. Everyone will have seen pictures of lorries queued for many miles. This makes no sense and is a drag on our productivity that the country cannot afford, especially not now.

“We’ve become dangerously reliant on Dover and the Channel Tunnel, with 75% of the trailer freight market between north-west Europe and Britain passing through this pinch point. The solution provided by DFDS is simple, effective and now clearly proven.”

Peel Ports says this is clear evidence of growing demand and it has taken on a further six tugs to handle the increased traffic with a further three due soon.