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WEC Lines adds Bilbao- UK east coast link


18


Shortsea and intermodal operator WEC Lines is to launch a new weekly service linking Bilbao and north-central Spain with Thamesport, Immingham, Teesport and Blyth. A regular ship shuttle service operated by the MV Freya departs Bilbao on Wednesdays at 17.00. Arrival into the four UK ports, following transhipment at the Dutch port of Moerdijk, is on the following Saturday. Departures in the return direction from the UK are at midnight on Saturday, arriving into Bilbao at 12.00


noon on Tuesdays. There are frequent departures from Moerdijk to all four UK ports. Connections by rail or road


are available to and from the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Zaragoza, Madrid and Valencia. Rail


and road connections


are also available in the UK between


Teesport and


Mossend and Grangemouth. UK managing director, Roger


Megann said: “WEC Lines is responding to the market demand to bring containers closer to the cargo owner’s


door. By removing the road miles from the equation, cargo owners will benefit from reduced costs, less congestion, lower emissions, and improved control over their stock.” He added that it would bring


a new and reliable logistics solution to a market “where choice


has previously been


lacking”. He predicted that demand for container services would increase up to and after 1 January 2021. He told FBJ that he believed the new route would be the first


Chilly outlook but business is booming, says Pall-Ex


When Pall-Ex Iberia was launched in 2011, the pallet model was a new concept for the local distribution industry, so there were numerous challenges, says Pall-Ex Group managing director Europe, Mark Steel. He explains: “Initially, it


was difficult to secure high quality partners with the right infrastructure and service levels, plus there was a need to educate customers on the benefits of the service to their business.”


Now, though, the pallet network


model is fully established within the region and recognised by customers. “It makes it much easier for us to build our network, increase our members and improve our coverage in the region,” says Steel. “Alongside our main hub in Madrid, we also operate regional hubs in Zaragoza, Valencia, Jaen and Barcelona and have 65 members across Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and the Canary and the Balearic Islands. Pall-Ex Iberia is under


continuous expansion and there are new members joining the network in the coming months, with the aim of strengthening our network even further.” Pall-Ex is also offering a new


chilled pallet model. Pall-Ex Iberia managing director, Enric Estruch Trulla states: “We are disrupting the refrigerated transport market in Iberia with the introduction of the first chilled pallet model. It is a strategic addition to the Pall-Ex Iberia portfolio and an excellent


New Portugal and Spain links for Liverpool – and the wider world


Ro ro freight operator CLdN has added a service from Porto, Portugal and Liverpool. It follows the introduction in June of a weekly triangular ro ro-service between Santander, Liverpool and Dublin. The new services cater for


unaccompanied, containers and project traffic. CLdN’s UK sales manager Mike Lewis, said that ports in the north were able to offer hugely reduced waiting times, storage and efficient onward routes. It brings the total number of calls from Iberia to Liverpool to eight. Traffic on the long-haul Iberian


routes has been growing rapidly, partly in response to the ongoing shortage of drivers and concerns over Brexit. There is also pressure to the reduce long hauls across


Europe in the face of Covid restrictions. Peel Ports managing director,


David Huck, said: “Whilst most new services take time to build market confidence,


these new


connections have already proved a huge success, further increasing frequency and capacity on CLdN’s Irish and UK services from continental Europe. They offer cargo owners and hauliers the chance to utilise longer


maritime routes, switching to unaccompanied trailers to improve the overall productivity of the driver pool.” The new routes will provide


connections to and from Ireland and the US via


added. David Huck continued: “This is a


really positive start in our efforts to open up new trade opportunities amidst current market conditions. Many supply chains have been


Liverpool, he


direct link between Bilbao and the UK east coast. It is also one of the few regular liner services to operate into Blyth - about 20 miles north of Newcastle – where there is significant potential from the local chemical and paper industries. He added that with


predictions of severe congestion at UK ro ro ports, rising trucking costs and a growing unwillingness by Continental drivers to visit the UK, the prospects for short- sea


container shipping had


solution for the market, which currently lacks a chilled option for partial freight shipments.” He says the service will provide


palletised chilled distribution at 2-8 degrees C and is already attracting interest from customers requiring the ease and flexibility of part loads. Trulla adds: “There is also a lot of


interest from hauliers wanting to partner with us to add the model to their service offering. We plan to launch the chilled network in January 2021 and forecast having 25 members on board by early 2021. There is real potential for the chilled model to be rolled out across the entire Pall-Ex Group to diversify our distribution offering and support growth across Europe.”


looking for alternative solutions, given the challenges of moving cargo within a Covid environment. These services not only address those concerns, but also the potential risks from a no-deal Brexit in the UK’s negotiations with the EU, which are predicted to present delays on the traditional cross-channel routes.” CLdN head of sales, Sjors pointed out:


Bosvelt, “Since


launching the triangular route in June, plus Porto, Dublin, Liverpool sailings, we have continued to progressively expand our route network. The new Portuguese service, which commenced on 11 September with the arrival of Japanese built Kawasaki Class vessel, Clementine into Liverpool, will offer environmental benefits and be less prone to disruptions or interruptions as seen on the short straights, as well as increased coverage of direct shipment possibilities from Iberia to UK and Ireland.”


Issue 7 2020 - Freight Business Journal


never looked better. Containers would offer similar transit times to single-manned trucks and a high degree of dependability, coupled with lower emissions and costs. He cited the example of


Turkey, which until a few years ago had been mainly a truck market, but had now switched significantly to intermodal. The Spain/UK freight market


has held up well in the face of the Covid crisis. While there was a slight dip when consumers stopped panic-buying, it has now recovered, Megann stated. A range of equipment can be


carried, including 40’ and 45’ high-cube palletwide boxes. No reefers are currently carried but it may be considered in future. Possible future


///IBERIA


developments could include increased frequency on the core route from Bilbao to Moerdijk and also operating the vessel direct from Bilbao into one or more of the UK ports, Megann said. Other WEC services include


Liverpool to and from Setubal and Leixoes, between Tilbury and


Vigo, Leixoes, also Lisbon


and Setubal and between Liverpool and Barcelona and Valencia. WEC


covers


Morocco, Canary Islands, Madeira, Azores and the Cape Verde islands. Commodities moving from


Iberia to the UK include food and beverages, chemicals and tiles. In the return direction, the UK exports waste products and there is also potential for car parts and chemicals.


Pall-Ex Iberia


super-hub is ready for action


Pall-Ex Iberia has completed work on its new 12,000 m2 hub facility, in San Fernando de Henares. The building will replace its current warehouse in Madrid and give additional capacity to develop domestic and international services. Pall-Ex Iberia managing


director Enric Estruch Trulla, commented: “Pall-Ex Iberia has come a long way since its inception almost ten years ago. I am so proud of the network we have established within Spain and Portugal.


includes 94 docks able to handle over 6,000 pallets. The building will also house Pall- Ex Iberia’s office staff with additional space for meeting and training rooms. The purpose-built hub will Pall-Ex


house Iberia’s new


service options including the temperature-controlled transmission network scheduled to launch in January 2021. Managing director of Pall-


Ex’s international business units, Mark Steel, added:


“The new space has been


purpose-built, meaning we have been able to create a hub which will truly work for us and will benefit our entire membership. We will continue on our journey of growth and innovation within the sector and I


look forward to


seeing how this new facility can support our aspirations moving forward.” The warehousing space


“Pall-Ex Iberia is one of the Group’s most successful networks. They are continually developing their quality domestic and international services. With their new hub,


services options and


the new Group IT system, Nexus, launching in 2021, Pall-Ex Iberia will offer some real commercial advantages to their membership and customer-base.”


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