Harwich International Port today (Monday 16 September) received a significant boost to its status as one of the east coast’s leading Roll-on/Roll-off ports with the commencement of a new service to Rotterdam/Europoort and the opening of a new port entrance for freight traffic.
Long term Harwich customer, Stena Line, today launches a new route to Rotterdam from Harwich operating three vessels recently acquired from P&O North Sea Ferries. The new route is part of Stena Line’s on-going investment programme.
The new service represents a major increase in Stena’s North Sea capacity on services from Harwich to Rotterdam providing seven daily crossings between Harwich and the continent. The new vessels Freeway, Ideway and Flanders will operate on the new Harwich to Rotterdam route and complement Stena Line’s existing services to the Hook of Holland. The HSS Discovery currently offers two high speed sailings daily and two further passenger and freight departures are provided each day by the Ro-Pax ships Stena Hollandica and Stena Britannica.
The new four-lane freight entrance at Harwich International Port has direct access onto the recently opened second phase of the Parkeston bypass. The Port worked in partnership with Essex County Council to build the new bypass in less than four months, at a cost of £1 million.
The new freight entrance is equipped with an automated weighbridge linked to a new digital camera recording system. The camera system is fitted with an optical character recognition capability to read number plates as vehicles arrive at the port.
Commenting at the ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new entrance and the commencement of the new Rotterdam service, Andrew Harston, General Manager of Harwich International Port, said:
“We are delighted to welcome this new Stena service to Harwich. The Port has deep-rooted, historical links with Holland. The service to Rotterdam brings the total number of sailings offered by Stena from Harwich to 45 per week. It not only provides shippers with an increase in the frequency of sailings, but also a wider choice of destinations. It is fitting that on the same day that we are increasing the capacity on these all-important short sea routes, we are also celebrating the opening of the new freight entrance that will further enhance the efficiency with which we process vehicles arriving at the Port.”
Pim de Lange, Area Director North Sea of Stena Line, said:
“This new route is important for Stena Line because it significantly strengthens our position on the North Sea. With the new route our freight capacity on the North Sea will be increased with 75 % and with a total of 7 departures per day from both Holland and the UK we can offer our customers the right capacity and frequency. Because of this our freight operation on the North Sea will next year increase to approximately 350,000 units.”