New freight connection links Scotland to mainland Europe ahead of Brexit

A new freight shipping service has set sail linking Scottish exporters and importers with mainland Europe ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU trading block.

The arrival of the Vanquish into the Port of Grangemouth launched a new short sea shipping call with Samskip for Scottish exporters and importers direct into mainland Europe. Picture: Peter Devlin

The arrival of the Vanquish container ship into the Port of Grangemouth marks the launch of a new shipping link with Samskip.

The new weekly call into the port expands the vessel rotation on the company’s existing Amsterdam/Hull service, opening up wider coverage for customers and providing Samskip with additional capacity to meet increasing demand from the Scottish market.

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Cargos expected to use the service include food and drink, paper and steel products. The weekly rotation service calling into Grangemouth each Thursday also calls into Hull and Amsterdam.

Scott Montgomery, manager of sales and operations in Scotland for Samskip, said: “Customers have become accustomed to our reliability and the reach of our intermodal services deep into continental Europe.

“As their businesses have grown, we’ve grown with them, increasing our capacity on a regular basis to meet their needs and working closely with the Port of Grangemouth to move Scottish business through a Scottish port.

“Now we take the next step, adding a second ship to improve our capacity, frequency and transit times to and from a number of key markets, in particular, Germany. We’re Brexit ready and our additional ship can help our customers make sure their supply chains are too.”

Derek Knox, senior port manager at the Port of Grangemouth, which is owned by Forth Ports, said: “It’s great news for Grangemouth and for the Scottish market that Samskip have chosen the port for this additional call on their growing short-sea European service.

“The Port of Grangemouth plays a key role in Scotland’s logistics and freight sector and this additional call will increase the frequency of vessels connecting to mainland Europe and provide an enhancement to the current offering from the Port to the Scottish market.

“Grangemouth is Scotland’s key strategic freight hub with the country’s largest container port. Samskip’s customers will benefit from our efficient and fast turnaround times in addition to the many advantages that can be obtained from our key strategic location within Scotland.

He added: “This call is a new alternative to existing supply chain solutions as the UK prepares to leave the EU on 31 December.

“These changes should both streamline supply chains and also contribute to our net zero targets as they will facilitate the transfer to short sea shipping routes as opposed to road transport.

“We continue to invest significantly in Grangemouth with new equipment, an expanded container terminal area and over 400 reefer connections securing us as Scotland’s freight hub of choice.”

Koen Overtoom of the Port of Amsterdam added: “We are very pleased with this new Grangemouth-Amsterdam connection, as it further expands the short sea proposition of the port of Amsterdam.

“It shows the strength of the partnership between Forth Ports, Samskip, TMA Logistics and ourselves and connects the hinterland of Amsterdam with the Northern British market, offering new opportunities for shippers.”

Forth Ports owns and operates eight commercial ports in the UK.

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