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P&O Ferries’ services between Zeebrugge and Teesport have reported a 16 per cent uplift in freight units in the third quarter of the year compared with 2015, with the company noting that the north-eastern port’s transport connections with major cities on the west coast of England are proving a key attraction for customers.

Between July and September, P&O Ferries’ two ships on the route – the Bore Song and the Mistral – carried 22,499 units of freight. This figure represents an increase of more than 16 per cent on the 19,349 units carried in the corresponding period last year.

Teesport, owned and operated by PD Ports, is located 96 miles from Manchester and freight units unloaded from the port can reach the north-western city in just over two hours.

Nick Pank, P&O Ferries’ Head of Sales Development on the North Sea, said: “Our freight volumes between Zeebrugge and Teesport have risen encouragingly in the last twelve months as continental customers have become more aware of just how convenient a gateway this north-eastern port is for cities in the north-west such as Manchester and Liverpool. Coupled with the outstanding connectivity to Scotland – trains run daily from Teesport to the Scottish station of Mossend – it is not difficult to see why more exporters are choosing the route.

“Our two ships run a reliable and punctual service so customers can rest assured that their goods will be delivered in mainland Britain as soon as logistically possible. We have seen strong volumes of cars and also bulk tanks of wine and brandy.”

The 25,000 ton Bore Song and the Mistral sail six times a week each between Zeebrugge and Teesport – a journey which takes 15 hours.

P&O Ferries announced in July that it is doubling freight capacity at Zeebrugge in order to meet increased structural demand from exporters to Britain. The expansion – which comprises a fourth berth and significantly enhanced rail capacity – will give the ferry company the capacity to handle 700,000 units of freight every year at the Belgian terminal compared with the current figure of 370,000. In addition to Teesport, P&O Ferries also serves Tilbury and Hull from its Zeebrugge hub, which has existing rail links to countries across the continent including Romania, Italy and Poland.

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