P&O Ferries has announced the expansion of its North Sea business with the introduction of a daily service between Teesport and Zeebrugge.
Starting in the New Year this service will give more choice to customers wishing to ship to the north east of England and Scotland.
The Mistral (1,625 lane metres) will take up service from January 2015 alongside the Bore Song enabling the company to increase frequency on Teesport - Zeebrugge from three departures per week to a daily service. To complement this the company will also increase capacity on its Teesport - Europoort route. The Estraden (2,270 lane metres) will take up service after the ship presently on the Dutch route is returned to its owners.
The ships have been selected for their efficiency, with the introduction of the new low sulphur emissions legislation from 2015 in mind. Estraden will be fitted with two Norsepower wind rotors and NAPA Optimisation equipment and Mistral features an efficient single engine, fitted with variable frequency drive. In addition investment in the Bore Song will see her operating with a fully installed sulphur scrubber in January.
At Teesport, PD Ports has invested more than £3m in a new intermodal rail terminal. This will enable the port to connect by rail with Scotland and the Midlands, as well as handling existing intermodal trains from Felixstowe and Southampton.
Janette Bell, commercial director for P&O Ferries, said: "We are moving fast to capture the growth potential in the North Sea freight market and the new rail service complements our own market leading rail capability at our Zeebrugge hub. With our new daily service this exciting development allows us to provide customers with the opportunity to grow in a key geographical market in an environmentally-friendly way."
Geoff Lippitt, business development director at PD Ports, said: "The announcement of this new service is another significant development for Teesport and further positions it as a major gateway to northern England and Scotland. For importers and exporters to and from Europe it's excellent news as this will provide the very important daily frequency to this major European hub. The introduction of our intermodal terminal in late 2014 also reinforces the port centric platform at Teesport and our ability to deliver market leading supply chain solutions that reduce overall logistics costs to our customers."