BG Freight Line launches new service.
EUROPEAN shortsea and feeder operator BG Freight Line yesterday launched a new service bringing France into its Ireland-Rotterdam network.
A butterfly pattern has been created, with two 803 teu vessels deployed on alternatively on Rotterdam-Ireland-Rotterdam-France, and Rotterdam-France-Rotterdam-Ireland rotations.
The French Service will call at the Atlantic ports of Brest and Montoir de Bretagne, connecting shippers in western France directly to Ireland through Cork, Dublin and Rotterdam, and the cargo will be a mixture of deepsea containers feedered from Rotterdam and door-to-door shortsea volumes in the line"s pallet-wide 40ft high-cube and 45ft containers.
BG Freight Line sales and marketing director Jean van Drom told market reaction had been positive.
?There is nothing calling at western France at the moment, and the direct connection to Ireland, as well as connections to other parts of the UK and Ireland that we offer through Rotterdam, are attractive.
?The service is competing for a lot of the cargo that currently moves by trailer along the roads of France and the UK, which are often chock-a-block,? he said.
The Peel Ports-owned line will use APM Terminals" facility in Rotterdam as its base terminal for transhipped deepsea cargo, and the Rotterdam Shortsea Terminal for its door-to-door 40 ft and 45 ft pallet-wide boxes.
?If necessary we can also go to [Rotterdam"s] Delta terminals, because there is enough slack built into the schedule,? Mr van Drom added.
He added the charter of the second vessel was being finalised.
Targeting Irish-destination cargo that uses the UK landbridge will provide a welcome fillip for Cork and Dublin, which have suffered heavily from the downturn.
Port of Cork commercial manager Michael McCarthy said, ?Despite challenging times, BG Freight Line has identified an unexplored French market which will help to better service the needs of the Cork/Munster region, while also opening up new opportunities for feeder traffic between France, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland.?
Meanwhile, further evidence that the Irish economy is improving came from Dublin, which revealed a 7.3% year-on-year increase in exports through its facilities in January.