Cronus Logistics has engaged with Associated British Ports (ABP) and integrated Cardiff into its Irish Sea schedule, strengthening its expansion of the southern UK to Ireland gateways. This new operation enables Cronus Logistics to offer door-to-door services for all full load cargoes whilst specialising in the steel, forestry and building sectors between Warrenpoint, Dublin, Bristol and Cardiff.
Managing Director Nicola Walker said: “Helping to keep the Cardiff service and port operations viable was only part of the reason we moved into Cardiff. This fits in with our own business model and, coupled with our internal knowledge and investment in bespoke equipment to handle steel and other heavy metal engineering products, represents a significant step in our development. The service began at the end of February and we can now provide door-to-door services from both Cardiff and Bristol in the UK as well as Dublin and Warrenpoint in Ireland.”
The 14-acre railhead at Cardiff provides a connected rail terminal linking directly into the national rail network opening up the whole of the UK and potential new markets. At Cardiff, full-length intermodal trains will now be discharged and loaded directly into the terminal. With an increase in rail traffic, Cardiff also has a large area of open and covered storage next to the railhead that can easily accommodate large shipments.
Irish cargoes can also benefit from onward transit from both Cardiff and Bristol on Borchard Lines West Mediterranean service, with sailings every five days. By utilising niche ports, Borchard Lines sails to/from Leixoes, Castellon, Salerno, Piraeus, Limassol, Ashdod, Haifa, Beirut, Alexandria, Mersin and Salerno. Cronus Logistics via the Port of Dublin is now also acting as the weekly feeder service to the line.
Walker sees this step as vital in developing Cronus Logistics’ door-to-door services and also as a natural fit for the company. She said: “Over the past 12 months we have increased our services across the Irish Sea and developed a strong link with the Port of Bristol and the southern part of the UK. Wales and Cardiff fit nicely into our plans for the steel, metals and forestry sectors, all areas we have strong experience and knowledge operating in. We have shown there is a more logical approach to door-to-door deliveries between Ireland and the UK. Now by linking these four ports through our own services we can strengthen the offerings to these core sectors to offer reduced road miles, lower CO2 emissions and tailored deliveries to customer needs.”
The Port of Cardiff was given a boost in 2015 with investment by ABP in new machinery, operational procedures, and renewable energy projects, all part of the port’s operations handling more than 12 million tonnes of cargo each year.
Ralph Windeatt, Head of Commercial, ABP South Wales ABP, said: “This trade route is a vital link for our customers in South Wales, providing connections to suppliers and to important export markets. We’re pleased to welcome Cronus as a new operator for the route and hope that the additional capacity they will bring will allow more customers to benefit from the service and support economic growth and job creation in South Wales and beyond. We look forward to working with Cronus to provide a first-class service to users of the line via Cardiff.
“Cronus has ensured the continuation of a container line service at the port and this can only be good news not only for the port of Cardiff but also for the four ports associated with this new service. Cronus has shown it is possible to have a strong line of communication between customers and suppliers and make door-to-door deliveries across the Irish Sea to suit those clients. Cardiff has a reputation for steel and we can see this new link driving this industry sector further using the Cronus expertise and operations.”
Cronus Logistics’ 4000t vessels are capable of taking up to 80 forty-five foot curtain-sided or box containers, alongside 20ft and 40ft boxes and refrigerated containers. The ships can also easily accommodate out of gauge cargo.