Another direct ferry between Zeeborg and Scotland?

Another direct ferry between Zeeborg and Scotland?

The goal is to initially focus on freight traffic and later on passenger transportation.

Conversations are in progress

There was already a connection between Zeebrugge and Rosyth, until a fire broke out on the Finlandia Seaways ferry in 2018. The DFDS ferry company threw in the towel after the fire, because it could not find a replacement for the ship and because the financial waste was too great. The Flemish government now hopes to restore the connection, which “would lead to significant economic opportunities for both destinations,” according to Gambon. Talks are underway, and the will from Flanders is certainly there, says his spokesperson.

On the Scottish side, Ptarmigan Shipping’s Derek Sloan is in charge of the negotiations. He is convinced that ferries will be able to sail between Scotland and Flanders again next year. He declined to reveal which company would be responsible for the service and what the deal would look like in the future.

“The idea of ​​a direct ferry connection is part of the sustainable Scottish Government’s policy of keeping trucks off the roads, and provides opportunities for both freight traffic and tourism,” says Sloan. “The ferry connection will also provide a solution to the truck driver shortage.” Today, much of the import into Scotland passes through English ports, and 25 percent of it, according to Sloan, can pass through the new ferry link.

“Every logistics costs money, so a direct connection to Scotland can only be beneficial,” said Dirk Fairley, Flemish Economic Representative in the UK. In addition, logistics often act as a driver of economic activity, “the multiplier effect can be significant.”

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“The main role of Zeebrugge”

Prime Minister Jambon wants to make Flanders the gateway to the UK more than ever. The port of Antwerp Bruges – the newly merged ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge – plays a major role in this.

The port handles more than 32 million tons of traffic between the UK and Belgium and the merger “will allow both ports to respond faster and more effectively to social and technological developments, such as the energy transition, innovation and digitalisation, and to provide a supply chain that is not only more efficient, but also safer and more reliable.” .

Megan Vasquez

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