P&O Ferries has launched a new initiative providing free food, shopping discounts and cabin upgrades to freight drivers.
The move is aimed at raising awareness of their contribution to keeping the economy moving.
Under its 'Free Food February for Freight Drivers' initiative, those sailing on P&O between Dover and Calais can have a complimentary meal from a menu that has been 'specifically designed to be filling and hearty'.
Two freight drivers per vehicle can claim a free meal by presenting their boarding tickets on sailings between midnight and 8am Monday to Friday and on all weekend sailings between midnight on Friday and 8am on Monday.
Additionally, for freight drivers on the North Sea, P&O is offering free upgrades to Club Cabins and arranging for refreshments to be brought directly to their cabins, to help them socially distance during the Covid-19 pandemic.
P&O is also offering 10% discounts for freight drivers in all of its World Duty Free shops, which already offer up to 50% off high street prices.
P&O Ferries has established an internal team to investigate what other changes can be made to support drivers' welfare.
Peter Hebblethwaite, MD RoPax Ferry Services, said: "The wellbeing of our passengers is our highest priority and I am delighted to be able to announce that we are taking these special measures to support freight drivers during these challenging times. Road haulage is the lifeblood of the global economy and the dedication and hard work of freight drivers ensures supply chains remain intact and keeps food on the shelves.
“To make this month easier for freight drivers, we have rolled out a great many changes to maximise their wellbeing, so they can carry on moving our customers’ vital goods, including food, vaccines and medical supplies. We are always working hard to improve our services and these changes signify a new focus of P&O Ferries: to support the people who do so much in keeping our business and the wider economy alive.”