In the shadow of the Brexit, Brittany Ferries’ strategy of diversification has proven successful

By | 2017 Newsletter week 43 | No Comments

The latest Brittany Ferries report shows the first results after the Brexit referendum.

For the year 2016-2017, Brittany Ferries sees the following trends:

  • The cross-Channel passenger market is dropping (-5%), which is in contrast with the long routes to Ireland and Spain, which see a rise (+5%).
  • All routes together, passenger traffic is down 3%.
  • Freight is performing well, on all routes (+4%). For cross-Channel ferry services this means +2%, and for Spain +14%. The Motorways of the Seas between the UK and Spain has reached the symbolic level of 40,000 freight units.

In its analysis, Brittany Ferries found out that its faithful British repeat customers (members of the Club Voyage) continue to use the ferry services in the same numbers.

However, first time travellers seem to be less attracted by the ferry, and by France as a destination. Chairman Jean-Marc Roué calls for an unprecedented promotional campaign, to make France attractive to more people again.

The Brexit is a challenge, as well as the impact of the current low level of the British Pound, which will strongly impact Brittany Ferries’ future financial results, according to Mr Roué.

Jean-Marc Roué is happy with the strategy of the last ten years, where not all eggs have been put in one basket. The diversity of ferry routes and ships has proven to be the best recipe for stability.

Year 2016-2017 (2015-2016)

Pax cross-Channel: 1,958,000 (2,056,000)(-5%)

Pax long routes: 394,000 (376,000)(+5%)

Pax total: 2,352,000 (2,432,000)(-3%)

Freight units cross-Channel: 173,000 (169,000)(+2%)

Freight units long routes: 40,000 (35,000)(+14%)

Freigh units total: 213,000 (204,000)(+4%)

Photo: ETRETAT in Le Havre © Mike Louagie

Highest Q3 number of freight volumes on P&O Larne – Cairnryan route in six years

By | 2017 Newsletter week 42 | No Comments

P&O Ferries saw the highest number of lorries and trailers between Larne and Cairnryan in the third quarter of the year (compared with any Q3 since 2011).
P&O carried 53,305 lorries and trailers on its ships in the months of July, August and September. (=+3.3%)
Neal Mernock, P&O Ferries Sector Director on the Irish Sea, said: “Our port at Larne is fast becoming the gateway of choice for anyone exporting to or from Ireland. It has outstanding connections via rail and road, especially after the upgrading of the A8 dual carriageway, and is nine miles closer to Scotland than the port at Belfast.”
P&O Ferries operates seven sailings a day between Larne and Cairnryan using two ro-pax sister vessels, EUROPEAN CAUSEWAY and EUROPEAN HIGHLANDER.

Photo © P&O Ferries

Ports of Ostend and Ramsgate welcome new cross Channel freight ferry operator

By | 2017 Newsletter week 41 | No Comments

Seaborne Freight will start to operate an Ostend – Ramsgate ro-ro freight service as from March, using three ships. There will be six departures a day.
Target group is accompanied freight, which means the line goes in competition with Dunkerque, Calais and the Channel Tunnel, but not with nearby port of Zeebrugge.
Four years ago Ostend and Ramsgate lost their ferry links when TransEuropa Ferries went bankrupt. Especially for Ostend, which has a long history of cross-Channel ferry services, this is excellent news.
What do we know so far?

  • The people behind Seaborne Freight have many years of Channel ferry experience (Sealink, SeaFrance, MyFerryLink).
  • One of the ships is the former ro-pax trainferry SEAFRANCE NORD PAS-DE-CALAIS. She has been operating as FRS-owned AL ANDALUS EXPRESS between Motril and Tanger-Med, and is now at anchor near Cadiz.
  • The two other ships have not been revealed yet.
  • In Ostend the service will operate from the former TransEuropa Ferries terminal.

Photo: AL ANDALUS EXPRESS ex SEAFRANCE NORD PAS-DE-CALAIS © FRS