Transfer of route from Sheerness to Tilbury

DFDS has announced that it will be launching a new unaccompanied freight service from Tilbury to Calais, replacing its existing Sheerness – Calais service.

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The newly located service will start in late June 2023 and will offer one daily sailing in each direction six days a week. The dedicated Tilbury – Calais service will be operated by the Botnia Seaways ship, with space for 115 unaccompanied units.

The relocation comes as a result of feedback received from customers and demand for a more accessible route into the UK.

In the press release, Paul Dale, Asset & Site Director, Port of Tilbury said:

“We warmly welcome DFDS back to the Port of Tilbury as we confirm that the busy Calais daily ro-ro ferry service will begin this month. This is a significant long-term agreement with DFDS, who we have previously worked with, and we are looking forward to receiving the first vessel into Tilbury end of June. As London’s fastest growing port, DFDS’s customers will benefit from our strategic location on the Thames which is within easy reach of the London and the south-east markets, as well as access to our multimodal facilities including a dedicated freight rail operation with connections across the UK. The new driverless freight ferry service further cements our position as a vital gateway to Europe and supports our focus on achieving Net Zero by helping to remove trucks from the UK’s congested road networks.”

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The existing service between Sheerness and Calais will cease operation at the end of June. DFDS has had a strong partnership with the Port of Sheerness since the launch of its unaccompanied freight service at the port in June 2021. The two organisations collaborated to make the route a success, growing volumes and increasing capacity to meet customer demand over the two-year period of operation.

“We are very excited to be working with Tilbury Port on this new partnership to provide our customers with the service that they require and expect from DFDS”, says Jean-Claude Charlo, Route Director for DFDS. “Our decision to relocate our freight services to Tilbury has not been made lightly, but we have listened to the feedback provided by our customers and remain committed to providing an unaccompanied freight service that will continue to meet their needs. It has been a pleasure working with the Port of Sheerness these past two years and we have nothing but thanks and gratitude for the professional and excellent service that they have provided”.

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