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The prospect of a no-deal Brexit, which is getting closer and closer, means that the transport industry is preparing for the difficult situation that will probably happen. As a preparation to ease the difficulties, P&O Ferries starts a new permanent ferry line from Calais to Tilbury.

Cruises to the port of Tilbury on the Thames are an exciting alternative to the primary connections to the ports on the south coast of Great Britain. According to the shipowner, this line saves up to 75 miles of land travel (approx. 120 km) to London compared to a traditional cruise to Dover. Tilbury is located around 40 km from the British capital.

The new ferry line which is launched in September is to enable freight transport that is not accompanied by a driver a direct route to a port located just 25 miles from Central London

 We are delighted to be able to increase the choice we offer our customers by introducing a reliable, efficient and timely route for goods bound for markets in London and the South East.” – said Janette Bell, CEO of P&O Ferries.

To operate the line, the shipowner rented the ferry “Caroline Russ”. Each business day, the ferry will ship two times, and once on Saturdays and Sundays. The ship can accept 100 loading units. The sailing time is estimated at 8 hours. In total, it will transport around 50,000 containers during the first 12 months. 

Supply for London stores will flow to Tilbury

The shipowner expects that the ferry connection will be primarily used by carriers supplying supermarkets, including fresh fruit and vegetables.

Therefore, quick unloading is to be a priority so that the freight can be on the M25 from 5.30 am, thereby enabling time-sensitive loads to continue their journey before the rush hour starts.

According to Xavier Bertrand, head of the Hautes-de-France regional council, the new ferry connection will improve the flow of transport across the English Channel, especially in the case of a hard-Brexit.

P&O Ferries is one of the shipowners (alongside, among others, DFDS, Seatruck, Brittany Ferries), taken by the British Ministry of Transport into consideration when concluding contracts for ferry transport, which are to ensure continuity of deliveries after Brexit. One of the conditions imposed by the authorities is that connections should be made off the main route through the English Channel, i.e. between the ports of Calais and Dover.

Photo: P&O Ferries

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