DFDS says it is opening a new route between Calais and Sheerness in order to meet rising demand for more ferry capacity for unaccompanied freight between France and the UK.
The first departure on the new service is scheduled for the 1st of June. In a statement, DFDS said the new route will have one daily round trip operating 7 days per week, deploying one freight ferry (ro-ro).
Most of the unaccompanied freight carried today by DFDS on the two Dover Strait routes – Dover-Calais and Dover-Dunkirk – is expected to be transferred to the new route.
The port of Sheerness is located around 70 km north of Dover. This means it is closer to the London area and the midlands, something DFDS alluded to in their statement. The ferry operator also stressed the port of Sheerness has capacity to support further growth in unaccompanied freight volumes.
DFDS says that the combination of an unaccompanied freight route and the rail infrastructure in the port of Calais is expected to grow the market for rail solutions for freight from Italy, Spain and southern France to the UK.
In addition, the new route enables DFDS to offer an intermodal transport solution between Turkey and the UK by combining the freight ferry route to Sète (in southern France) with rail transport to Calais.