P&O Ferrymasters has won a four-fold increase in business from the aluminium rolling giant for moves from Germany.

It could double the sum through a separate pilot project aimed at maximising weight allowances into the UK and Ireland.

The latest contract follows a tender for the transport of finished products from the manufacturer’s German plants in Göttingen, Nachterstedt and Neuss. P&O Ferrymasters – a Novelis supplier since 2007 – will now handle 1000 loads a year under the deal after increasing its volumes to the UK and gaining new flows to Belgium and France.

Meanwhile the companies have launched the Ireland efficiency project to make full use of the 44-tonne gross vehicle weight limit in the UK and Ireland compared with 40t in Germany.

Coils collected from Göttingen and Nachterstedt - where loads currently average less than 20t – are being consolidated into payloads of up to 28t in Europoort ahead of shipment.

The pilot is due to run for a minimum of one year, producing additional turnover of £1M based on volumes of 1300-1800t/m. Steffen Kessler, P&O Ferrymasters general manager in Germany, notes: “The project has increased delivery performance by cutting average transit times by more than 50%.

This has also reduced the number of express shipments and has the environmental benefit of lower CO2 emissions by reducing the number of trucks leaving mainland Europe.

Novelis has an estimated 19% share of the global market in flat-rolled aluminium sheet and foil products for industries such as automotive, transportation, packaging, construction and printing. The company is also the world’s biggest recycler of drinks cans, recycling 40bn cans per year.