Brittany Ferries launches new Poole to Spain freight service
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.