TWO developments linked to ports in the Thames Estuary in the past weeks as regular sailings from Tilbury’s London Container Terminal (LCT) for Oldenburg-Portugiesische Dampfschiffs-Rhederei (OPDR) increased, whilst the new deep water container port at London Gateway saw its first feeder service shipping for Teesport with transhipment cargo heading north to what port managers, PD Ports claim is Europe’s best connected feeder port reports handyshippingguide.com
OPDR only announced services from Tilbury’s short sea terminal in November, heading for North Africa the Iberian Peninsula and beyond, with the 700 TEU OPDR Cadiz making the first call at the port last month. Now the Hamburg headquartered shipping line says it will be adding a further two sailings per week to the Canary Islands service.
In addition OPDR, which has traded with Morocco for over 120 years, is to open its own office in Casablanca this week. A new company, OPDR Maroc Sarlau, began trading officially on January 10 using twelve employees and Till Ole Barrelet, Chief Executive Officer of the OPDR Group and Managing Director of OPDR Maroc, commented on both new developments, saying:
“It is essential for OPDR to be close to the UK clients and have a reliable terminal with an excellent hinterland infrastructure with fast and reliable road and train connections into the main catchment areas, LCT is a dedicated short sea terminal that understands our business and will support us in further enhancing our logistic services to and from the UK. We are looking forward to consolidating all our services to London Container Terminal and to developing our cooperation further.
“Morocco is, and has always been, an important core market for OPDR and represents our gateway to Africa. As we already established our own OPDR network in Belgium, Portugal and Spain in 2013, it was a consequent step to build up our own network in Morocco as well. The new Moroccan office enables us to be even closer to our customers and their production areas now that will further enhance our customer service. We will be able to standardise our processes and will consequently achieve an even higher performance level.”
Further downstream London Gateway saw the arrival and departure of the BG Freight Line B.V. vessel Cetus J which made an additional call making her the first feeder ship to load at the new port, before heading for Teesport, prompting PD Ports’ Business Development Director Geoff Lippitt, to say:
“We are really pleased to see that the first feeder vessel to sail from London Gateway made Teesport its first port of call. One of the strengths of Teesport is the range and coverage of feeder services and we will continue to build on this and expand in the future.”