which way

Choosing the Right Route - Which Port is 'Miles' Better Than Another?

Journey planning depends on so many variables some of which may be obvious, others less so. The science of making route plans is a constantly evolving process where the decision made this week may not necessarily be the right one for the next. Changes in the customer needs, location of the end customer or the delivery destination could mean that routing through the same port every time is not the best way to go. It may mean travelling extra distances or having to wait to meet a specific time slot for unloading.

Often routing decisions are made simply on the cost of the crossing itself - the lure of a lower price ferry ticket can be very compelling when today's margins are so pinched. But with overall mileage costs rising to perhaps as much as £2 per mile (depending on vehicle type and other variables), the saving of a few pounds on a crossing can soon be eaten up by incurring excessive or unnecessary mileage or by extending the duration of the journey.

Combining the optimum routing with the most convenient ferry crossings to save time, reducing running distance and eliminating fallow hours whilst waiting for unloading or for the next ferry departure can make all the difference.

Whether the Weather be Fine...

Shipping forecastEven during the summer we see inclement weather conditions (today is a good example!) and as Autumn is nearly here and Winter looms ever-larger we can expect increasing disruption; ferries are susceptible to high winds in particular, not because they are unable to cross the sea when stormy conditions prevail but simply because they are unable to berth, or even leave the berth in the first instance. It all depends on the strength and direction of the wind, the speed of gusts, the windage of the vessel (the flat surface of the side of a ship presented to the wind at 90 degrees) and the power of its bow-thrusters. Ships' Masters will not risk the safety of the ship, the crew, its passengers and cargo so cancellations and delays are often a feature of transport by sea when the wind blows up.

The Shipping Forecast

Optimising routes by choosing the right crossing points between countries separated by sea corridors whilst reducing running miles for vehicles is not only cost-efficient but is also environmentally beneficial. But when a ferry is cancelled it can play havoc with carefully laid logistical plans. Freightlink's team of planners constantly monitor weather conditions and can even anticipate cancellations across ferry routes and operators and are therefore able to quickly find workarounds so that customers' important schedules and delivery promises can still be met. Flexibility to change or offer alternative routings means that different options can be offered so that ferry disruption can to a great extent be circumvented.

Intelligent planning

With more than 550 ferry routes on offer connecting in excess of 40 countries, we give you much more than a ferry ticket. Intelligent planning saves money and avoids delays, even when the elements of nature are conspiring to disrupt your best laid plans. Expert advice and assistance is never more than a click away!

Are you responsible for routing decisions for your drivers and need some advice on ferry crossings? Take a look at our routes by country or speak to our expert team.

12 September 2017

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