The decision has come about after investment in a new linkspan, tractor units and additional trailer parking facilities.
Clemence Cheng, CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, commented on the agreement: “As well as being the UK’s largest container port, Felixstowe is also a key gateway for roll-on/roll-off trade with Europe. Demand on DFDS’s service to Rotterdam has been growing steadily for a number of years and we are delighted to have agreed a new contract with them to secure the service at Felixstowe for another 15 years.
“The new contract includes a significant investment by Hutchinson Ports replacing one of our existing roll-on/roll-off bridges with a modern floating linkspan capable of handling the latest generation of roll-on/roll-off vessels and creating over 300 additional trailer spaces for unaccompanied roll-on/roll-off traffic.
“This investment is driven by our long-term confidence in the roll-on/roll-off route between Felixstowe and Rotterdam. We are seeing increasing interest in both roll-on/ro-off and short sea container connections at all three of our UK ports as shippers seek to minimise risks to their supply chains resulting from Brexit.”
The English Channel, which links to North Sea to the Atlantic, is the busiest shipping area in the world with over 500 ships passing through its waters each day.
Niels Smedegaard, CEO and President of DFDS, said: “We are very happy to continue our excellent relationship with the Port of Felixstowe and their roll-on/roll-off staff. We are very excited about this investment which allows us to further enhance the high level of customer service that is expected by our clients. It is also a further step in our striving to provide necessary capacity to continue supporting our customers’ trade and business, even in a possible post-Brexit world.”
With Brexit looming on the horizon and the UK’s trade relations with Europe hanging precariously in the balance, the investment will allow both parties to breathe a (very small) sigh of relief, at least for the time being. The position of the UK’s trade relationship with Europe will be ultimately decided on March 29th, when the final decision on Brexit is due.