Flanders aims to restore ferry connection with Scotland

The Government of Flanders is in talks with Scotland to restore the direct ferry connection between Zeebrugge and Rosyth/Edinburgh. This was announced Tuesday morning by Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon during the economic mission in the United Kingdom. The focus lies in the first place on freight traffic, with passenger transport planned for a later date.

Ferry company DFDS stopped offering the connection between Zeebrugge and Rosyth after a fire broke out on the ferry Finlandia Seaways in 2018. ​ DFDS could not find a replacement for the ship and the financial hangover of the accident was too great. 

The Flemish government now hopes to restore the connection, which "would lead to great economic opportunities for both destinations", according to Jambon. The talks are ongoing, and the will from Flanders is certainly there, said his spokesperson.

"Every logistics operation costs money, so a direct connection to Scotland can only be advantageous," says Dirk Verlee, the Flemish economic representative in the UK. Moreover, logistics often acts as a motor for economic activity, "the multiplier effect can be great".

Minister-President Jambon wants to make Flanders the gateway to the UK. The Port of Antwerp Bruges - the recently merged ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge - plays a major role in this. The port handles more than 32 million tonnes of traffic between the UK and Belgium and the merger "will enable both ports to respond more quickly and effectively to social and technological developments, such as energy transition, innovation and digitalisation, and to make the supply chain not only more efficient but also safer and more reliable".





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