Scotland proposes new post-Brexit ferry route to Netherlands

Scottish company TEC-Farragon is working on a ferry service between the Scottish town of Rosyth and Eemshaven in the Netherlands. Scottish companies currently make use of the port of Dover in southern England. But with the Brexit approaching, Scotland wants a direct ferry connection with Europe, NOS reports.

British government documents leaked this week show that the British government is taking weeks of chaos at the port of Dover into account, should the United Kingdom leave the European Union with no deal in place. "The political situation is uncertain at the moment", Margaret Simpson of British freight transport organization FTA said, according to NOS. "That is why the Scottish government thought it was a good idea to find an alternative to the ports in southern England."

TEC-Farragon will make use of ferries from shipping company Stena Line. The intention is for the ferries to eventually sail between Eemshaven and Rosyth on a daily basis. The ferries will mainly transport freight, but TEC-Farragon also wants to appeal to tourists. The connection can become an alternative to the ferry from IJmuiden to Newcastle, a crossing that takes 16 hours. The boat trip between Eemshaven and Rosyth will take around 20 hours. 

TEC-Farragon chose Eemshaven because of its favorable location in relation to important markets for the Scottish whiskey- and wood industry, such as Germany, Denmark and Italy. The company also mentioned the good infrastructure in the area as a major advantage. In Eemshaven the ferries will likely dock at the Sealane Terminals quay. The company recently made 6.5 million euros available for the construction of a new cold store, and the harbor quay was extended by 100 meters, according to the broadcaster.

If all goes according to plan, the first ferry trip should take place at the end of October. It is currently being investigated how the ships can dock in Eemshaven under changing conditions. A customs office for passengers still needs to be built in the port, and the parking options are being looked into. TEC-Farragon director David Kellas called the October deadline "ambitious", according to NOS. "But we are also an ambitious company. 

Groningen Seaports refused to comment on the plans for a new ferry service to the broadcaster. "We never make statements about contacts, only about contracts", logistics manager Erik Bertholet said. "But of course I will not deny these plans either."