A significant increase in unaccompanied freight trade between the UK and France has been recorded by London Medway in recent weeks amid the ongoing delays at the port of Dover.
A 34% increase in units have been recorded by a cross-channel service run by DFDS in the last couple of weeks as congestion issues continue to effect Southeast ports.
Individual vessels carrying larger than 200 units has been seen by the rise in demand in the service between Calais and Sheerness. The route has been proven very popular amid the ongoing congestion.
A 30 percent increase in unit volumes was also experienced by the route between April and June this year compared with the last 6 months of 2021, in a time period when Dover faced issues with P&O.
Richard Goffin, Port Director at London Medway, said:
“Peel Ports has argued for many years that the solution to the Southeast congestion is simple. Rather than travel as accompanied freight, cargo that is non-perishable can move on unaccompanied services through more reliable routes such as London Medway.
Although the sea-leg is longer, routing via regional ports such as London Medway is just as efficient as the existing options through the Dover Straits, as road miles are reduced. These journeys also allow for clearance checks to be completed without the pressure of a 90-minute crossing increasing throughput and capacity.
We’ve become dangerously reliant on Dover and the Channel Tunnel, with 75 per cent of the trailer freight market between north-west Europe and Britain passing through this pinch point. The solution provided by DFDS, and London Medway evidently works and it’s fantastic to see such a strong increase in trade, demonstrating the willingness of our supply chain to consider alternative route options that increase efficiency.”