Amid ongoing delays in the Port of Dover, London Medway has reported an increase in trade for the freight services between the UK and France. 34% more units have been seen arriving at the cross-channel port, which is part of the Peel Ports Group, one of the largest port operators in the UK, and run by DFDS.
The route between Sheerness and Calais has proven to be an extremely popular option for those wanting to avoid congestion, and individual vessels were seen carrying more than 200 units. The route also experienced a 30% increase in unit volumes between April and June this year compared to the last six months of 2021, during a time when Dover again faced issues with P&O.
“Peel Ports has argued for many years that the solution to the South East congestion is simple. Rather than travel as accompanied freight, cargo that is non-perishable can move on unaccompanied services through more reliable routes such as London Medway,” explained Richard Goffin, Port Director at London Medway.
“Although the sea-leg is longer, routing via regional ports such as London Medway is just as efficient as the existing options through the Dover Straits, as road miles are reduced. These journeys also allow for clearance checks to be completed without the pressure of a 90-minute crossing increasing throughput and capacity.”
The volume increases on the service, which launched in June 2021, have exceeded market expectations and support Peel Ports’ long-term future in delivering a viable and sustainable alternative route for the UK’s supply chain.
“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,” added Richard. “The solution provided by DFDS and London Medway evidently works and it’s fantastic to see such a strong increase in trade, demonstrating the willingness of our supply chain to consider alternative route options that increase efficiency.”
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