Dorset

Brittany Ferries launches new Poole to Spain freight service

The Pelican Image copyright Brittany Ferries
Image caption The 156m Pelican vessel has the capacity for about 100 unaccompanied trailers

A new freight service has been launched between Poole and Bilbao in northern Spain by Brittany Ferries.

The company has chartered a 156m Pelican vessel with the capacity for about 100 unaccompanied trailers and 12 drivers.

It began service after arriving from shipping company Maritime Nantaise and will operate two round-trips per week.

Brittany Ferries' freight director, Simon Wagstaff, said the vessel would help the firm meet "growing demand".

He said: "Freight activity to and from the United Kingdom is undergoing a period of strong growth, particularly the unaccompanied market.

'Balance the books'

"We see this on a daily basis in the garages of our vessels, especially on those operating to and from Spain."

Last year Brittany Ferries reported a 20% increase in freight traffic across all routes.

Mr Wagstaff added: "This will allow us to operate effectively, but also to balance the books in this important area of our activity."

The Pelican will call at Poole on Saturdays from 10:00 to 16:00 GMT, and on Tuesdays from 18:00 to 23:59 GMT.

The charter, which includes crew, is for 12 months, but with the option of an extension.

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