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300 per cent increase in volumes helps P&O Ferries reach millionth freight unit out of Tilbury

Posted on: 24 November 2015

P&O Ferries announces today that it has carried its millionth unit of freight out of the port of Tilbury, after an increase in volumes of almost 300 per cent since it launched the North Sea route to the continent eight years ago.

The ferry company is on course to carry a record 210,000 units of freight between Tilbury and its Zeebrugge hub this year – up from 70,000 units in the first full year of operation in 2008.

The news illustrates the rapidly growing demand for importing and exporting consumable goods such as paper, steel, food, detergents and machinery into a port just 25 miles from central London and seven miles from the M25.

Helen Deeble, Chief Executive of P&O Ferries, said: “This landmark illustrates the growing importance of our Tilbury to Zeebrugge route as a vital link in UK PLC’s supply chain.”

“Tilbury is the closest sea port to the capital and our 24 sailings a week connect it directly to our Zeebrugge hub. Volumes have steadily increased in every one of the eight years in which we have operated the route and we are now close to our maximum capacity.”

“The key to the route’s success is that exporters of consumables such as paper, steel, food, detergents and machinery want to get their products as close to London as possible. We ship cars between Europe and Britain, with 35,000 units from one manufacturer this year alone. And we have also seen a significant increase in hazardous cargoes, with customers who make regular shipments attracted by a freight-only route.”

P&O Ferries sails two ships, the Norstream and the Norsky, between Tilbury and Zeebrugge. Both vessels are ideally suited for the Thames, with the capacity to double-stack containers and also offering cabins for freight drivers.

The news follows P&O Ferries’ strong performance on the English Channel in Q3 when it carried its highest ever volume of freight between Dover and Calais, a total of 367,000 units which represents a 30 per cent year-on-year increase.

P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry operator, sailing on nine major routes between Britain, France, Ireland, Holland and Belgium. The company operates 20 vessels which carry more than 10 million passengers, 1.6 million cars and two million freight units every year.

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