It won’t come as a shock to know that as we make our way through winter there is a heightened chance of sailing disruption. But fear not, Freightlink has got you covered.
Many of our ports of departure sail to more than one location, so should your journey be affected by adverse weather, cancelled sailings or even industrial action you can still get to where you need to go.
We have put together a comprehensive and handy alternative routes guide for some of our most popular crossings. So, should your journey take an unexpected turn you can still make your next delivery on time.
Bad weather in the English Channel can disrupt ferries and drivers may migrate to Folkestone and Eurotunnel, potentially leading to queues and slower transit times. This means the nearest alternative might not always be the best solution for you.
If you have issues at Dover or Folkestone, then you could consider some of the long sea options available - maybe via Newhaven or Portsmouth if going into France or from Harwich or Purfleet into Holland or Belgium?
Alternative Ports: Dunkerque
If you have made it to France, chances are you will probably want to come home as well. With Calais being the most popular route into the UK it can get busy for a variety of reasons. Your alternative here is Dunkerque. If you are coming from Germany or Belgium you will often reach Dunkerque first.
The Dunkerque to Dover ferry service provided by DFDS takes approximately 2 hours with up to 12 daily crossings. The Dunkerque freight ferry terminal facilities include toilets, showers and vending machines.
The Irish Sea can seem like it has a mind of its own as it succumbs to the mercy of the Autumn and Winter weather, but with nine possible ways to cross from the UK mainland (and vice versa), you should be able to find a solution if necessary.
There are regular departures from seven different UK ports to get across the water, whether you need to be in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.
Although bad weather on departures from Portsmouth is less common, it isn’t immune. The Bay of Biscay can be particularly prone to the winter winds. Should you become stuck on your way to Portsmouth there are a variety of alternative ports. The flexibility of Dover and Folkestone means they can also be used as a last minute option. A quick change of direction on the M3 or M4 could see you get into Europe around the same time via a Channel ferry.
If you're looking to get from the North of the UK onto the continent via the Netherlands (Or the other way round) you have a variety of options available to you. With daily sailings from Immingham, Killingholme, Newcastle and Hull all going to the Hook of Holland, Rotterdam and Ijmuiden, you are never more than 2 hours away from an alternative route on either side of the North Sea.
On the Freightlink Interactive Freight Ferry Map you can click on any ferry port to see further information and plan your ferry route. This includes alternative routes, operators, port addresses and facilities.
We have also added a 'Recently Added Ports' section to our ports page which may provide you with alternative sailing routes on the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea, Black Sea and beyond.
Don’t forget, you can also contact our dedicated customer service team any time between 7am and 11pm (GMT) daily to discuss any adjustments you would like to make to your journey. You can also follow Freightlink on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.