P&O Ferries carried more freight across the English Channel in the first three months of the year than in any first quarter in its modern history.
The ferry and logistics company’s six ships on the Dover-Calais route transported 361,100 lorries during January, February and March. This figure was almost 11 per cent higher than the corresponding period in 2016 and nine per cent higher than the previous best ever Q1 in 2012.
In a sign of the rising importance of the cross-Channel transport of goods to the economies of both Britain and Europe, P&O Ferries set individual monthly freight records in January, February and March respectively.
Janette Bell, Managing Director of P&O Ferries, said: “We are committed to delivering a reliable, punctual service with the lowest possible waiting times to anyone transporting goods between Dover and Calais.”
“Our performance during Q1 shows just how many businesses across Europe rely – either directly or indirectly – on the services we provide. Our ferries are a vital conduit for the transport of fresh fruit and vegetables, building materials, components for production lines and much else besides.”
“We expect demand for cross-Channel transport to increase, driven by a rising population and the continuing strength of the British economy. It is essential for our customers from all parts of Europe that maintaining secure, safe and efficient passage through the ports of Dover and Calais is a priority for both sides negotiating Britain’s departure from the European Union.”
During the quarter, two of P&O Ferries’ English Channel ships – the Pride of Canterbury and the Pride of Burgundy – spent several weeks each in Poland’s Remontowa shipyard for major life extension work. Both vessels, which weigh up to 30,000 tons, have now been relaunched and are back in service.
P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Holland and Belgium. It operates 20 vessels which carry more than 10 million passengers, 1.6 million cars and 2.2 million freight units every year.
Together with its logistics division, P&O Ferrymasters, the company also operates integrated road and rail links to countries across the continent including Italy, Poland and Romania. A P&O Ferrymasters-owned rail terminal in the northern Romanian city of Oradea, which will facilitate the onward movement of goods to Britain from the Silk Road, became operational last year.