- Since the 1st of May, the fast passenger services across the Straits of Messina have been run by Blu Jet Lines, a new subsidiary of the Italian railways.
- Trasmediterranea will use VRONSKY on the Nador and Al-Hoceima routes until 30 June. From 3 July until 8 September newbuilt VILLA DE TEROR will connect Motril and Nador in 4 hours, and Motril and Al-Hoceima in 5-6 hours.
- 8 May 2019, the second of the DFDS new mega freight ferries was handed over by the Jinling Shipyard. She will soon leave for the Mediterranean.
Port of Zeebrugge, Home For UK Ferries
Last Saturday I was in Zeebrugge for a photo shoot on a cruise ship. The port is always surrounded by ferries coming from and going to the United Kingdom, and on this windy day it was not different.
P&O Ferries is taking legal action against the UK government. The reason is the GBP 33 million given to competitor Eurotunnel, seen by P&O as unfair distortion of competition.
The money given to Eurotunnel was given by the Department for Transport, as compensation for the GBP 100 million contracts with Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Seaborne Freight. These contracts were to make sure that the companies would have enough ferry capacity in case of a no-deal Brexit.
(see also in our Media section)
UK Government Cancels Brexit Ferry Deals
The UK Department for Transport is cancelling contracts to provide extra ferry services after Brexit.
The government bought £89m worth of capacity from Brittany Ferries and DFDS.
Ending the contracts could cost the taxpayer more than £50m.
“We needed to be ready”, said Mr Grayling, the Transport Secretary. The cancelled contracts were part of a £4bn no-deal “insurance policy” the government had put in place.
Brittany Ferries has signed an agreement with Spanish energy company Repsol for the delivery of LNG to its Spanish operations.
Repsol will install a fixed quayside LNG storage and supply system in one of Brittany Ferries’ two Spanish ports, Santander or Bilbao. Repsol will then supply LNG to Brittany Ferries’ SALAMANCA. A final decision on the location of the terminal will be made later in 2019.
Construction of the new ship is planned at the Avic International Weihai shipyard in China. Under the agreement between Brittany Ferries and Repsol, the supply of LNG will begin in 2022.
The UK has spent £108m for “the supply of additional freight capacity on Short Sea crossings for Ro-Ro services between English and European ports.”
This is to ease potential congestion problems at Dover in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as the government ramps up its multi-billion contingency plans.
The Department for Transport has signed contracts with three ferry companies, in order to create more freight corridors away from Dover.
- Brittany Ferries (£46.6m)
- DFDS (£47.3m)
- Seaborne Freight (£13.8m)
Seaborne Freight is a start-up company, with “seasoned shipping veterans”. They are working on setting up a freight ferry service between Ramsgate and Ostend, initially with two ro-ro ships.
Dredging of Ramsgate port will start on January 4th, chief executive Ben Sharp told the BBC.
The ferry services under the contracts are to be operational by 29.3.2019.
Brittany Ferries adds 19 weekly return-sailings to three routes on the western channel: Roscoff to Plymouth, Cherbourg to Poole and Le Havre to Portsmouth.
These additional rotations will allow more space for lorries, as requested by the Department for Transport. This is a 50% increase in freight capacity on the three affected routes from 29th March 2019, representing a 30% increase overall on the western Channel.
The UK Ferry Market Report, in cooperation with PSA
Produced in cooperation with Passenger Shipping Association (PSA), the UK Ferry Market Report could be an interesting reference tool for anyone involved in the ferry and travel industries.
The Report provides a statistical overview of the UK Passenger Ferry Market based on returns from almost all UK passenger ferry operators.
While the market is made up of three market sectors – UK Continent, UK Ireland and Domestic routes some comparisons are made with Eurotunnel and Eurostar.
In addition, some information is detailed at a subsector level where UK – Continent routes are divided into North Sea, Short Sea and Western Channel Sectors – UK Ireland routes are divided into Northern Ireland, Central Corridor and Southern Corridor, and domestic routes are divided into Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man and Scotland.
Some key figures:
- Britain’s UK ferry operators carried 8.61 million cars in 2015, up 1.3%
- Overall passenger figures on 75 ferry routes held up at 38.90 million, -0.6%
- Domestic ferry routes saw the biggest growth.
- Total passengers carried by P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways from/to Calais and Dunkirk were over 13m in 2015, a slight drop.
- Good growth of 3.4% (2.94m passengers) on the Western channel routes to France principally served by Brittany Ferries, with cars carried up by 5.8% to 990,000 in 2015.
- North Sea ferry routes run by Stena, DFDS and P&O Ferries increased by 3.9% the number of cars carried to 445,000 in 2015, carrying the same number of passengers in 2015.
- Passengers on the three Irish operators of Irish Ferries, Stena Irish Sea and P&O Ferries were marginally down by 1.9% (4.78m).