The Dutch-owned short-sea shipping line Transfennica (part of the Spliethoff Group) has announced that it is to cease its “Motorways of the Sea” ro-ro service between Bilbao, Portsmouth and Zeebrugge at the end of this month (December).
The decision is a direct result of the introduction of stricter new low-sulphur emission controls from 1 January 2015 in the Baltic Sea, the Kattegat, the North Sea and English Channel. A further SECA extends in a 200 nautical miles wide belt along the coasts of the USA and Canada.
The route was started in September 2007, which attracted €6.8m (US$8.5m) European Union funding, was designed to offer an alternative to moving goods by road from Spain to northern Europe and the UK. Over the years, the service has seen a steady increase in volumes.