Short-sea box boom boosts London Thamesport


Dutch transport company A2B-online Container yesterday launched a fourth weekly sailing on its short-sea container service service between Hutchison Ports-operated London Thamesport and Moerdijk in The Netherlands

The new sailing was inaugurated yesterday (18 April 2018) by the first call of the A2B Spirit (ex-Norfeeder), a Sietas 151 type 508 teu container ship, the fourth of this class owned and operated by A2B.

Commenting on the new sailing, Clemence Cheng, executive director Hutchison Ports, said: “We are seeing a growing demand in the short-sea container market as a response to increasing labour shortages in the driver-accompanied market and uncertainty around Brexit. We are delighted that, working closely with our partners at A2B-online, we are able to help them grow their business by providing a highly efficient service and direct access to key south-east markets.”

Gerard de Groot, managing director of A2B-online, said: “Volume is still increasing despite talks regarding Brexit. We have spare capacity to adjust more sailings to London Thamesport if and when required.”

Bart van ‘t Hof, group sales director for A2B-online, added: “If it is decided to go for a hard Brexit, more volume is expected to be routed from Moerdijk to London Thamesport. This is because of customs procedures that may apply that will have a considerably (negative) effect on the supply chain for goods arriving the UK accompanied by either Channel Tunnel or Dover by ferry.”

A2B-online Container is a multi-modal short-sea operator specialising in full- load, part-load and pallet consignments to and from the United Kingdom, Benelux and Germany. It offers short sea services from the port of Moerdijk including a door-to-door service with its own fleet of 1,400 45ft containers.