A new twice-weekly freight service from Northern Spain to Portsmouth International Port started on 13 May using the ro-ro vessels Stena Forecaster and Stena Forerunner (both 2003/24,688gt), with the route offering the added benefit of going on to Belgium. Transfennica, the Netherlands-based freight company, announced in April it was starting the ‘triangular’ route from Bilbao to Portsmouth, Zeebrugge and back.
The service will use the two recently-acquired vessels, which have capacity for 100 trailers, 150 double-stacked containers and 12 drivers. Transfennica’s ships will arrive at Portsmouth on Sunday and Thursday each week. Once the freight from Northern Spain is unloaded, the vessels will then take on board the containers and trailers headed for Belgium.
The new route is expected to be popular with companies looking to send unaccompanied freight, with fast transit times from Bilbao to Portsmouth. The direct service from Spain to the UK is also well suited for out-of-gauge, heavy and hazardous cargoes. Transfennica is part of the Spliethoff Group, one of the largest ship owners in the Netherlands.