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P&O Ferries has announced a new daily ferry service across the English Channel connecting Calais with a port on the River Thames.
Jane Imrie

Trade flow boost for UK businesses with new Thames-Calais ferry route

P&O Ferries has announced a new daily ferry service across the English Channel connecting Calais with a port on the River Thames.

The new route is set to link the French city with the Port of Tilbury, located 25 miles from central London.

With two eight-hour sailings every weekday and one each on Saturday and Sunday, the route will have capacity for 100 units of freight, with a total of 50,000 expected to be carried in the first 12 months.

It is expected that time-sensitive supermarket goods including fresh fruit and vegetables will be transported on the route, news which could potentially ease concerns about post-Brexit shortages.

Janette Bell, chief executive of P&O Ferries, commented: “We are delighted to be able to increase the choice we offer our customers by introducing a reliable, efficient and timely route for goods bound for markets in London and the South East.

“The route saves up to 75 road miles each day compared with the traditional Calais-Dover crossing, meaning that our customers save on fuel and land on the doorstep of London.

“By prioritizing the fast discharge of the ship, the freight can be on the M25 from 5.30am, thereby enabling time-sensitive loads to continue their journey before the rush hour starts.”

Xavier Bertrand, Président du Conseil Régional des Hauts-de-France, added: “The opening of a regular shipping line between Tilbury and Calais is an event to celebrate for many reasons.

“On the one hand, it meets the expectations of the European market and will help developing trade with Greater London, the Midlands and Greater Manchester.”

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