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French shipping group to launch new service connecting Belfast to key European ports

Published on 19 June 2023

The Allegro is one of the vessels which will operate on CMA-CGM's new weekly rotation between Belfast Harbour and key European ports.

French shipping group CMA-CGM is to set up a new container feeder services at Belfast Harbour, linking it to a number of European ports.

The service, which will run from Belfast Harbour’s Victoria Terminal 3 (VT3), will open more options for importers and exporters in Northern Ireland.

CMA-CGM currently operates an Irish Sea service in Belfast. But the French company said the expansion will directly link Belfast to major continental hubs such as Rotterdam and Dunkirk.

The CMA-CGM Group serves more than 420 ports around the world across five continents, with a fleet of around 600 vessels.

The group is present in 160 countries through its network of more than 400 offices and 750 warehouses. 

Managing director, Alan Horner, said: “In line with CMA CGM group’s innovative approach to maritime development we are delighted to add Belfast to our global port coverage where we will leverage the synergies between our shipping services on the main intercontinental routes and our revamped intra-regional lines in the Irish Sea.

“The additional port call at Belfast gives our Northern Ireland clients direct access to our over 257 shipping routes and 420 ports of call worldwide.”

Belfast Harbour's port director, Michael Robinson, said: “This new service from CMA-CGM will provide increased frequency of container services calling at Belfast, offering benefits for both importers and exporters in Northern Ireland.”

The VT3 site at Belfast Harbour has undergone £30 million of upgrades since 2018, making it one of the most modern container terminals on the island of Ireland.

The terminal handled 126,000 container units in 2022 and a record 132,000 the previous year, which was the highest level of container traffic since 2008.

Source: Irish News