In just over 18 months Belgian operator Cobelfret’s Portuguese freight link has gone from strength to strength, necessitating a series of capacity increases. The ro-ro service between Rotterdam and Leixões, near Porto, was originally introduced in January 2013 as a weekly service using container ship Arx (2005/ 6,901gt).

Traffic quickly grew and Cobelfret’s 2,415 lane metre 17,287gt ro-ro Adeline (2012) was brought in from November and Arx redeployed on to a new weekly Avonmouth-Leixões link. With Adeline regularly sailing full, the larger 2,750 lane metre 21,357gt Catherine (2002) took over in March.

In April, with UK traffic levels proving disappointing, Avonmouth sailings ceased and Arx re-entered service between Rotterdam and Leixões providing a second weekly trip, with UK cargo transhipped in Rotterdam onto Cobelfret’s Purfleet and Killingholme sailings. With growth continuing, Adeline has returned to replace the Arx at the end of September. MD

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