The service will reportedly cut the journey for goods traveling between Britain and Morocco to fewer than three days, compared to the six days required previously.
On the first ship sailing a new ‘Brexit-busting’ route from Morocco, a boatload of fruits and vegetables is due to arrive in Poole, a coastal town situated in Dorset, Southern UK.
The freight ferry service will travel between Poole and the Tanger Med port in northern Morocco.
United Seaways will operate the service, which is expected to ease supply chain disruptions related to Brexit.
Ships will run once every week and will mostly contain dry and cold freight, with the first shipment including 100 frights of organic seasonal fruit and vegetables.
Until now, maritime trade between the two countries took place via two crossings, a shipping route from the UK to Spain followed by a journey from Spain to Morocco.
Nigel Jenney, CEO of the Fresh Produce Consortium, explained that “the route offers a rapid service and avoids the additional tariff complications of trading via the EU since the beginning of the year.”
He added, “At this challenging time, it's a very welcome alternative to the increasing complexity of trading with Europe.”
Compared with more than six days to travel via road, the Tangier-Poole link reduces the journey time to less than three days.
According to Poole Harbour Commissioners, the route will “help bypass post-Brexit traffic congestion and additional import procedures on goods arriving via Europe.”
The Port of Poole says the route has been undergoing plans for over two years and will help avoid post-Brexit traffic and import procedures. It will also significantly reduce emissions.
In the shipping industry, the pandemic has led to bottlenecks and shortages in supply chains.
Brian Murphy, director of marine and port operations at Poole Harbour Commissioners, said: “The Port of Poole has been working closely with United Seaways to get this ‘Brexit Buster’ service up and running. The service will provide a greener and more time-efficient option for importers and exporters from both kingdoms and we look forward to receiving the first shipment from Tangier shortly.”
In addition to road haulage, door-to-door service, customs clearance, and warehousing, United Seaways will offer full logistics solutions.
Efforts are underway to switch from a Ro-Ro service (roll-on/roll-off) for unaccompanied cargo to a RoPax service (accompanied cargo).