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Image for Seabourne Freight Contact For Start-Up Raises Concerns

Article by Neill Barston | 21st February 2019

Seabourne Freight Contact For Start-Up Raises Concerns

Controversy has surrounded the government’s appointment of a £13.8 million contract to Seaborne Freight to establish a freight service to ease expected congestion surrounding a potential ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

The move made national headlines as it emerged that the company was a start-up that did not presently have any ships.

Furthermore, the business came under further scrutiny as it emerged that its website’s terms and conditions appeared to have been cut and pasted from a pizza takeaway service.

Thanet District Council said that it had been working on re-establishing ferry services at the Port of Ramsgate and had also been in discussion with Seaborne Freight to establish commercial services to Ostend.

A statement from the local authority read: “We recognise that Ramsgate could play a role in supporting post-Brexit resilience by offering an alternative route for some cross-Channel traffic, to ensure at least some movement of goods should there be significant delays in Dover.

“As part of this the council has reviewed the capability of the Port of Ramsgate to provide capacity to support the Brexit position which, with an investment of £26 million, includes the potential for up to 24 sailings a day which would create capacity to divert 3,360 lorry movements per day from Operation Brock from the M20 and M26.

“This would significantly reduce pressure from the Port of Dover during peak traffic flows. This would be especially beneficial to the ‘Just in Time’ production processes and logistics for example the chilled food sector.”

Image: John Fielding

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