Boris’ Brexit Buster: New ferry route to bypass the EU
New ferry route from Port of Poole to Tangier will bring fresh produce from Morocco to UK
The Port of Poole has announced a new direct ro-ro ferry route to the Port of Tangier in Morocco. Aimed at cutting delivery times to the UK for fresh produce from the North African nation, the new link will help importers and exporters circumvent the delays caused by sending goods through the EU.
The new route has been pioneered by United Seaways and has been planned for more than two years, say officials. Running once a week, it will cut journey times on Moroccan goods to fewer than three days, compared with more than six days via current road routes. Additionally, the port says it will lessen the environmental impact of the trade.
The current route between the UK and Morocco involves two sea crossings and a long road section, meaning bureaucratic holdups because of chaotic post-Brexit red tape. Captain Brian Murphey, marine and port director at Poole Harbour Commissioners, said:
“We are very excited to be hosting United Seaways’ brand-new roll-on-roll-off ferry service. It will reduce the time taken for goods to arrive by half and will see significant environmental benefits by reducing road freight.
“This is an exciting opportunity for UK, Moroccan and African importers and exporters, who are looking to develop existing and establish new business relationships. We will work closely with United Seaways to ensure this service is a huge success.
“With our high customer satisfaction levels, skilled workforce and ample operational space, the Port of Poole is ideally set up to receive both accompanied and unaccompanied freight.
Zeyd Fassi Fehri, managing director of United Seaways, said: “Our aim is to support businesses with post-Brexit, supply chain challenges and opportunities. This service will create a sustainable and environmental alternative when launched in the coming months. The speed and efficiency of the vessel ensures a longer shelf life for fresh products whilst reducing road congestion, tolls and additional import procedures that have arisen since Brexit.”
The identity of the ship to be used has not yet been revealed and options will likely be limited by length restrictions at Poole Harbour. To-date, the largest ferries to berth at the port are of the 186.5m-long Visentini class.
Importers using the new direct ferry route from Morocco will cut out a road journey upwards of 2000km and in addition to fewer carbon emissions, the direct service could also see a reduction in driver and vehicle maintenance costs.