The arrival of the ro-con+ vessel Bahri Jeddah at the Port of Tilbury has marked the start of a new, highly flexible shipping link between the UK and the Middle East region.
The service, operated by the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), offers shippers a completely new option for shipping heavy roll-on/roll-off, project and containerised cargoes between the UK, Northern Europe and the Gulf region. It began in November with calls including Bremerhaven, Antwerp and Bilbao and now, with UK-based cargo building strongly, Tilbury is confirmed as part of the monthly schedule.
The 25,957 dwt multipurpose Bahri Jeddah and sister ship Bahri Abha, built in 2013, are flexible, self-geared ro-con+ vessels offering 6.8 metre height clearance, 250-tonne ramp capacity and two 120-tonne deck cranes with tandem lift capacity of 240 tonnes.
They have seven decks, including two hoistable decks, the ability to carry up to 700 cars, and a combined deck capacity of 25,000 square metres, plus container capacity for 300 TEU. The ships are fully equipped to carry standard containers, rolling vehicles, tracked vehicles, static cargo, project cargo and high & heavy cargo.
DKT Allseas Shipping, a 50/50 joint venture between Allseas Global Logistics and De Keyser Thornton, is the liner agent for the service. Trevor Kay, Bahri service Line Manager at DKT Allseas, said: “Thanks to the extreme flexibility of these vessels and the service, we have the benefit of not being limited to any single target sector of the market. However, a major focus is big project cargoes, which can be handled by the onboard cranes and via ro-ro. The unique factor is that shippers now have the benefit of a direct call into the UK, instead of having to tranship to Antwerp.”
After the Northern Europe calls, the service passes through the Suez Canal to call at Jeddah, Jebel Ali and Dammam. A wide range of other ports in the region will be served by inducement or by transhipment via own tonnage and approved partner carriers.