Cargo shipping services between the UK and mainland Europe received COVID-19/Coronavirus subsidy on Monday, May 18, with a UK government GBP 35 million (USD 42,5 M) package for transport operators.
Port Tilbury England starts operations at its new Ro-Ro terminal following Monday’s berthing trials of a P&O Ferries-owned ship.
The UK Government said that a total of 16x UK-Europe and UK-Northern Ireland ferry routes (“Public Service Obligation Routes”) for up to 9 weeks declined in passenger and freight traffic. This threatened their operations and started to disrupt supplies of essential goods like food and medicines.
The 35-million state aid goes to the companies P&O Ferries, DFDS, Brittany Ferries, Stena Line, Eurotunnel, Seatruck. The aid covers the following routes: Portsmouth-Cherbourg, Portsmouth-Santander Spain, Poole-Bilbao Spain, Dover-Calais, Dover-Dunkerque France, Cairnryan-Larne, Cairnryan-Belfast, Folkestone-Coquelles, Harwich-Rotterdam Holland, Harwich-Hoek van Holland, Heysham-Warrenpoint, Hull-Zeebrugge Belgium, Hull-Rotterdam, Tilbury-Zeebrugge, Teesport-Rotterdam, Rotterdam-Killingholme.
According to the UK's Department of Transport, the actual amounts paid to each of the ferry companies “will depend on the actual amount of capacity required and sold in each week”.
At Tilbury, it has taken about a year to build the GBP 200-million Tilbury2 Terminal, which on Monday completed the berthing trials of P&O Ferries Bore Song and Norstream and is formally opening next week. The facility is to be operated in a joint-venture between P&O Ferries and Forth Ports (Tilbury Port's owner) and has annual capacity to process nearly 500,000 trailers (lorries).
There is also a plan to expand the railhead at the port in order to accommodate trains of up to 775 metres.
For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.