Booming business highlights value of investment in Dover’s Western docks

Despite being known as the UK’s busiest international ferry port, the Port of Dover has a hugely diverse offering, encompassing cargo and cruise, as well as roll-on, roll-off freight.

Dover’s Western Docks have a jam-packed Summer ahead full of inaugural ship calls, as well as a busy schedule of existing services.


June has been an eventful month for Dover as business booms within the cargo terminal and the cruise season continues with enormous success; both markers of post-COVID recovery and testament to the value of the £250m investment made in Dover’s Western Docks.


The Port of Dover’s state-of-the-art cargo terminal, which opened at the end of 2019 to an established trade in perishable freight, is now experiencing a thriving breakbulk trade too, among many other cargo types.


In 2021, Port of Dover Cargo Ltd received its first steel cargo and is now seeing significant growth in this commodity. The cargo terminal has an ever-widening steel product portfolio – including Rebar, Coil, Mesh, Beams and plate – and continues to attract an increasing number of additional vessel calls to Dover. Last week, the terminal welcomed the MV Jette Marit from Dubai, to discharge 10251T of rebar, and Interlink Quality with 6346T of beams from India for Jindal & Parkers.


Port of Dover Cargo Ltd also saw calls last week from the perishable Seatrade vessel Pacific Reefer, discharged 4,000T of aggregate for DC Aggregate from Frakt Fjord and received a vessel for Cefetra to load 4,000T of milling wheat for Dublin.


Eik Schuster, Senior Commercial Manager at Seatrade, said: “We are delighted to see that Dover Cargo Terminal has been able to generate a thriving business handling also non-refrigerated cargoes, whilst still maintaining outstanding service levels for our weekly specialised reefer vessel arrivals. Today, there are very few facilities in UK and Europe that can offer similar true multi-purpose facilities on this scale.”


Christian Pryce, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Dover, said: “The investment in the new terminal means the Port has the capability to process a whole range of commodities, from fresh produce and breakbulk, to containers, project cargo, general cargo and grain.


"Furthermore, the Port offers zero ship deviation by operating at a strategic location next to the world’s busiest shipping lane and is the quickest sea route to European motorways via Calais and Dunkirk.”


Meanwhile, Dover’s Cruise terminal never sleeps as the Port continues with its record-breaking year welcoming 130 cruises, including 73 turnaround visits and 11 inaugural ship calls.


The Port hosted a double cruise call last Sunday by Carnival Cruise’s Carnival Pride and Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas. Carnival Pride had arrived in Dover for its inaugural call the previous week – Carnival’s first call to the port since 2013. Plus, there have been more inaugural calls recently by Lindblad Expeditions’ vessel National Geographic Explorer and Sea Cloud Spirit.


Continuing, Mr Pryce added: “The Port of Dover welcomes over 25 individual cruise lines and counting, and with the investment made in our berths, we can accommodate up to three ships at once.

"Dover’s Cruise Terminal is welcoming hundreds of thousands of passengers to experience the wonders of Kent’s Heritage Coastline and our world-famous White Cliffs and helping them onward on adventures to multiple destinations around Europe, taking in Norwegian Fjords, Spanish islands or rugged stretches of coastline on Scotland’s West Coast.”


Source: UK Haulier