Spirit of success
P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry operator, sailing on nine major routes between Britain, France, Ireland, Holland and Belgium. The company operates 20 vessels, which carry more than ten million passengers, 1.6 million cars and two million freight units every year.
2015 has been an exciting year for P&O Ferries, as it has not only introduced a brand new look, but also expanded the number of crossings that it offers.
Indeed, the company has been enjoying a very successful period and in the third quarter of 2015 it carried more freight between Dover and Calais than ever before in its modern history.
The company transported 367,000 units of freight across the English Channel between July and September – a 30 per cent increase on the same period last year and the best single quarter since 2003.
September alone was the best single month for freight since 2003, with 129,500 units transported between Britain and France. The figure surpassed the previous monthly record (123,000) which was set in July this year. Freight comprises around two-thirds of P&O Ferries’ business, with tourists accounting for one-third.
Helen Deeble, Chief Executive of P&O Ferries, said: “These figures reinforce the importance of the cross-Channel ferry industry to the hundreds of thousands of businesses which rely on the efficient transportation of goods between Britain and France.
“This quarter has been unprecedented, with the strike by French seamen and the temporary closure of the port of Calais bringing major logistical challenges. I am very proud that everyone at P&O Ferries has risen to that challenge and helped to keep exceptional volumes of freight moving across the Channel.
“Demand for cross-Channel transport is only going to increase, driven by a rising population and a recovering economy. We have increased the number of sailings we make between Dover and Calais to 58 a day and brought a sixth ship back into service on the route in order to make sure that we are best placed to meet that demand.”
The news follows a strong tourist performance in August, with the company carrying its highest monthly number of people across the Channel since August 2003.
P&O Ferries attributed the strong passenger numbers to its investment in a new class of super-ferry, which has significantly enhanced capacity and tourists capitalising on the continuing economic recovery. Industrial action by French seamen, which closed the port of Calais for several days during the peak season, has not affected the upward trajectory.
Helen added: “This summer has been one of the most challenging ever for cross-Channel travel and I am very pleased that P&O Ferries has helped to keep tourists and freight moving between Britain and France in huge numbers.
“We have been able to carry well over a million people in August because of our investment in the new Spirit-class of ships which have helped to transform our customers’ experience of cross-Channel travel. The Spirit of Britain and the Spirit of France are both capable of carrying 2000 passengers, twice the capacity of a standard ferry, while offering a first class dining, leisure and retail experience.
“We expect further busy periods during the half-term holiday and also the winter sports season, with a growing number of skiers choosing to drive to the Alps via one of our ferries rather than fly.”
When passengers choose to travel by a P&O ferry, their first stop should be the company’s comprehensive website, at www.poferries.com. Clearly and logically set out, the site highlights the expected content such as available routes and travelling times, on-board facilities and special offers. But it also offers very useful travel advice, including where to stay, travel guides and foreign exchange, and even advice on travelling on board a P&O ferry with a pet dog, cat or even ferret!
Following such a successful quarter, P&O Ferries has a high set of targets to maintain going into the future. But the company is sure to be bolstered by its recent major award win from The Sunday Times, when it was crowned ‘Best Ferry Operator’ and its nomination into the prestigious 2015 World Travel Awards, in the World’s Leading Ferry Operator category. It has even been highly commended in the PetsPyjamas Travel Awards! Given the British public’s love for their animals, that sort of endorsement can only add to further success in the future.
Largest fleet of ferries in Europe
Continual focus on excellence
Recently won major award