United Seaways has been planning the new direct line from Morocco to the UK for over 2 years and it will be now launched in 2021.
The new service will be based out of the Port of Poole, Dorset, to and from the Port of Tangiers in Morocco, and is being established to help bypass post-Brexit traffic congestion and additional import procedures on goods arriving via Europe in a sustainable manner significantly reducing emissions when compared to currently logistical chains by road.
Image: United Seaways
The route will run once per week and will cut journey times on Moroccan goods to fewer than three days, compared to more than six days via road. It provides an alternative route for exporters from Morocco and Africa currently using road networks to the UK via Europe that also includes two ferries one from Morocco to Spain and one from North Europe to UK, including new lengthy Brexit Bureaucratic procedures. It will be used to encourage British importers to source fresh produce and other products directly from Morocco and Africa. The direct line will also facilitate exports from the UK to Morocco and Africa to promote southbound trade and therefore scale up exchanges between the two Kingdoms with a long-standing history of over 800 years.
Captain Brian Murphy, Marine and Port Director at Poole Harbour Commissioners, said: “We are very excited to be hosting United Seaways’ brand-new roll-on-roll-off ferry service. It will reduce the time taken for goods to arrive by half and will see significant environmental benefits by reducing road freight.
“With our high customer satisfaction levels, skilled workforce and ample operational space, the Port of Poole is ideally set up to receive both accompanied and unaccompanied freight.
“To avoid unnecessary disruptions, we work closely with UK Border Control, Port Health, and the Animal & Plant Health Agency to ensure that all the necessary checks are carried out as efficiently as possible right here on the Port estate.
Zeyd Fassi Fehri, MD United Seaways, said: “Our aim is to support businesses with post-Brexit, supply chain challenges and opportunities. This service will create a sustainable and environmental alternative when launched in the coming months. The speed and efficiency of the vessel ensures a longer shelf life for fresh products whilst reducing road congestion, tolls and additional import procedures that have arisen since Brexit.”
Nigel Jenney, CEO of the Fresh Produce Consortium, said: “Any solution that makes imports more effective, or eases trading with alternative countries, may well be a great opportunity for helping the UK source fresh produce from around the world.”
"I anticipate a strong demand for this new direct roro service," he continued. "The route offers a rapid service and avoids the additional tariff complications of trading via the EU since the beginning of the year."