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P&O Ferrymasters on the right track

14th February 2008

Growing intermodal demand coupled with commercial plans to expand services and customer satisfaction mean that a need for better Italian connections has never been greater for leading logistics and freight management specialist, P&O Ferrymasters.

The Italian Job began 15 years ago with an office opening in Milan.
P&O Ferrymasters saw the commercial potential offered by Italy and other offices opened in Rome and Verona. Business has boomed, intermodal growth has been significant and now the company’s expansion strategy continues to take shape with the launch in March of three new intermodal services to Italy.

This expansion means that P&O Ferrymasters will be operating 32 direct trains a week from and to Italy connecting the UK, Germany, France and the Benelux, resulting in an unrivalled network coverage by the company which is also investing heavily in new fleet to keep pace with the demand.

The new direct intermodal service uses the first European rail link from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge directly into Bologna and vice versa. Bari, Pomezia and Brindisi are directly connected to Bologna which shows the strategic importance of this service.

P&O Ferrymasters now offers intermodal services to and from Milan, Padova and Bologna in Italy from and to Rotterdam (Holland) and Zeebrugge (Belgium).

Bari, which is the second economic centre of southern Italy, will be served by daily rail links from Bologna. The Milan service will operate to Melzo and Desio. Bologna, with its strategically important location, will act as a gateway to Greece as well as serving local traffic. It will become the company’s third strategic hub terminal in Italy after Padova and Milan.

“Our customers want more and more rail and P&O Ferrymasters is committed to expanding its intermodal activity which makes perfect business and environmental sense for our customers and our company,” said Commercial Director Mark Mulder.

“We have a two-pronged approach to our intermodal expansion strategy. We are making a massive fleet investment in 45 ft containers and curtain sided containers to accommodate the demand for specialist combined transport services and expertise and to facilitate our growth in this area. And we are also committed to extending our intermodal offering. The launch of these new services to Italy is proof of that ongoing commitment.”

P&O Ferrymasters’ ambitions are only tempered by the limitations of the European railway infrastructure but there are signs of everyone moving together in the right direction.

Italy is a major intermodal market and there has been some significant investment in rail and intermodal infrastructure which allows
P&O Ferrymasters to serve its Italian customers in an effective way. The country’s long-term transport aims of creating better intermodal railway facilities, developing transport systems with lower energy and environmental impact and improving regional lines to provide access to the Trans-European Networks and additional motorway/road links can only help to push forward progress.

But P&O Ferrymasters’ strategy runs much deeper than the Italian connections. At the beginning of February a new office opened in Bucharest in line with the company’s plans to capitalise on the opportunities arising in the maturing markets of Eastern Europe. Another office is planned for Poland. And soaring intermodal operations in Spain have been improved by the opening of a new office in Madrid and the strengthening of the team in Barcelona. These developments have resulted in a better service for customers with only a 48-hour transit between the Benelux and Spain, and vice versa.

Mark Mulder concluded: “Our aim is to offer customers the widest choice and the best service. By having dedicated teams in strategically important locations we can tailor the right logistics solutions to the individual and changing needs of our customers – existing, new and potential. This ongoing expansion and investment in routes, offices and fleet enable us to offer an unrivalled service and network which makes good business sense for our customers and also P&O Ferrymasters.”

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