New terminal doubles Port of Zeebrugge capacity

P&O Ferries has formally opened its expanded terminal at Zeebrugge, doubling capacity to meet rising demand from continental exporters moving goods to the UK by rail. A significantly enhanced rail facility forms an integral part of the new development. 

Joachim Coens, Chief Executive of the Port of Zeebrugge, said that it was their ambition to enable port clients to keep growing and to ‘create new opportunities’ for that growth: “P&O Ferries is a strong partner in Zeebrugge, so we are very happy that the extended terminal will be a reinforcement of their services. P&O Ferries’ focus on creating intermodal business solutions between water and rail is valuable to the port of Zeebrugge.”

Enhanced rail infrastructure

From its Zeebrugge hub, P&O Ferries operates services across the North Sea to Tilbury, Hull and Teesport, and also has incoming rail services to the Belgian port from central and eastern Europe. The terminal has now been enlarged by 14 hectares, comprising a significantly enhanced rail infrastructure and a fourth berth.

Helen Deeble, Chief Executive of P&O Ferries, said: “As the British economy continues to grow, we have made this investment because we have confidence that we can provide a one-stop transport solution for continental exporters who want to do business with the hugely important UK market.

Zeebrugge hinterland

“We will be able to offer our customers additional vessel capacity. We’ll be able to grow third-party handling activities here at the terminal such as rail units headed for the Zeebrugge hinterland. And we will have the capacity to conclude new partnerships such as our existing one with Swedish Orient Line, which links our Zeebrugge hub to Gothenburg, and by extension Gothenburg with the east coast of Britain. Taken together, it adds up to an unrivalled service across sea and land, by road and rail.”

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 earlier this year.

P&O Ferrymasters recently expanded the capacity of its intermodal fleet with a 500-unit order of bamboo pallets, suitable for all of its fleet, from the Dutch manufacturer Unit45. It boosts their total fleet to 3,000 units and, says the firm’s Intermodal Director, Wim Blomme, will maintain the division’s ‘continuous growth strategy’.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for RailFreight.com - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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