Photo: Associated Terminal Operators (ATO)
The new link, served by a 508 TEU-big vessel, will kick off in Antwerp on 12 October, with the arrival in Hull expected two days later.
Initially, the service will run two times per week, sailing from Antwerp's Associated Terminal Operators' (ATO) terminal on Tuesdays and Saturdays and from Associated British Ports' (ABP) Port of Hull every Thursday and Monday.
"We are excited at the prospect of offering a new solution that can meet the requirements of the local and hinterland markets in and around Antwerp, especially given the excellent rail and inland waterway links available. With the current Brexit uncertainty, we believe that our spread of dedicated short sea services can offer robust options for companies wanting to de-risk their supply chain in preparing for Brexit," Richard Beales, Regional Director, Samskip UK & Ireland, commented.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO, the Port of Antwerp, also said, "We welcome Samskip to the port of Antwerp and their strategic decision to use Antwerp as the departure point for their new short-sea service to the UK. Mobility in and around the port remains a serious challenge and is therefore one of our strategic priorities to ensure further sustainable growth. To create a modal shift that brings the share of truck transport down, it is crucial to offer efficient alternative means of transport and shortsea is clearly one of them. Samskip has excellent expertise in this field and this new short-sea service will definitely support us in achieving this goal."
Johan Gemels, Managing Director, ATO, added to this, "Attracting a major multimodal operator such as Samskip very much aligns with the growth plans of ATO and fits perfectly with our services of handling ships, barges, trucks and trains. We look forward to working in partnership with Samskip to offer a new and competitive option for customers doing business in Antwerp and the UK.""It's fantastic news that Samskip has selected the Port of Hull once again as their premier short-sea departure destination. ABP has continued to drive substantial investments in its Hull Container Terminal, increasing container storage space and acquiring state-of-the-art equipment. We also make continual advancements in training our operational staff to ensure the best possible service and turnaround times for our customers," Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director, summed up.