Last reviewed 3 June 2021

DFDS and P&O have entered into a mutual space charter agreement on the Dover-Calais ferry route to shorten freight customers’ waiting times and improve the flow of freight across what they describe as the vital trade link between the UK and the EU.

Lorry drivers will be able to board the next available sailing when they arrive at Dover or Calais, regardless of which of the two ferry companies is operating the crossing.

This will ensure that they benefit from more flexibility and, with a sailing every 36 minutes, will reduce the amount of waiting time at the port saving freight customers up to 30 minutes on their overall journey time.

Although the agreement means that capacity is shared, all commercial activities will remain entirely under the control of the individual operators.

The new agreement is for freight vehicles only and does not apply to sailings on the Dover-Dunkirk route, which is solely operated by DFDS.

Filip Hermann, Vice-President and Head of Channel Routes for DFDS, said: “Our focus is always to improve the ferry offering to freight customers. With this new space charter agreement in Dover-Calais we offer faster crossings and flexibility to relieve congestion and keep trade flowing”.

The two ferry companies carry more than 2.5 million lorries across the English Channel every year, he highlighted, making it the busiest trade route between the UK and Europe and maintaining the flow of essential items including food, medicines and other materials into and out of the UK.