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Displaying items by tag: Eurotunnel

Operator P&O Ferries is seeking almost £33m in damages from the UK government over its handling of a challenge to ferry contracts under a no-deal Brexit.

The British-based shipping company, BBC reports, also wants courts to cancel the Department for Transport's settlement with Eurotunnel, and impose civil penalties.

In March, the DfT agreed to pay £33m to Eurotunnel, after the cross-channel operator sued for not being considered for a no-deal Brexit freight contract.

The DfT said it acted appropriately.

"This cross-government decision helped protect vital freight capacity for medical supplies to enter the country, in the event the UK left the EU without a deal," a spokesperson said.

As part of the agreement with Eurotunnel, the French company was mandated to spend £33m of taxpayers' money on improvements to the infrastructure of its terminal in Folkestone.

To read more including 'Mininum Disruption' at UK borders click here.

Published in Ferry

#ferries- Operator P&O Ferries is suing the UK government over its £33m settlement with Eurotunnel, in the latest controversy over the Department for Transport’s (DfT) fraught no-deal Brexit preparations.

As writes The Guardian, the department was forced into the £33m payout after failing to include Eurotunnel in its agreements with ferry operators to provide emergency cross-Channel services, including the scrapped contract with Seaborne Freight. (Afloat adds see related Arklow Shipping story)

The DfT had signed deals worth £89m with Brittany Ferries and DFDS to secure routes for vital goods in the event of no deal, with forecasts of massive congestion on the routes to Dover and Calais where most freight traffic flows.

Now P&O is contesting the compensation awarded to Eurotunnel, claiming it leaves its ferry service facing an unfair disadvantage.

Further reading on the story can be read here. 

Published in Ferry

#ferries - The UK government the BBC reports, will pay £33m to Eurotunnel in an agreement to settle a lawsuit over extra ferry services in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

In December, the Department for Transport (DfT) contracted three suppliers to provide additional freight capacity on ferries for lorries.

But Eurotunnel said the contracts were handed out in a "secretive" way.

As part of the agreement, Eurotunnel has agreed to make some improvements to its terminal.

One of the firms awarded a ferry contract, Seaborne Freight, has already had its deal cancelled after the backing of an Irish company (Arklow Shipping) pulled out.

Shortly after it was awarded the contract, the BBC found out that Seaborne had no ships and had never run a ferry service.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has been heavily criticised for the Seaborne deal, which would have been worth £13.8m.

In January, Eurotunnel wrote to Mr Grayling to complain that it had not been considered when the contracts were awarded.

It argued that unlike Seaborne, it has actually run a cross-Channel ferry service (MyFerryLink, which closed in 2015) and should have been approached.

For much more on the Eurotunnel settlement relative to the Brexit ferry fiasco, click here.

Published in Ferry

#MyFerry – The Dover-Calais operater MyFerry owned by Eurotunnel will be stopped from operating after the UK's Competition Commission (CC) decided that its acquisition of three ferries and other assets from the former ferry operator, SeaFrance, could mean higher prices for cross-Channel passengers and freight customers.

In its final report published yesterday, the CC has concluded that by adding ferry services to its existing Channel Tunnel business, Eurotunnel would increase its market share to over half and prices would rise. This confirms the CC's provisional findings which were published in February as previously reported on Afloat.ie

The CC found that Eurotunnel decided to acquire the SeaFrance ferries in order to prevent ferry operator DFDS/LD from buying them. Eurotunnel was concerned that if DFDS/LD obtained the assets cheaply, it could drive down prices for customers.

The CC also found that one of the three current ferry operators on the Dover–Calais route was likely to exit in the short term, if the CC took no action, in which case Eurotunnel could gain an even larger share of the cross-Channel market.

 

Published in Ferry

#FerryCompetition – English Channel passengers and freight customers could face increased prices following Eurotunnel's acquisition of ferry operator, SeaFrance (Dover-Calais) the Competition Commission (CC) has provisionally found.

According to a summary of the CC's provisional findings published today, by adding ferry services to its existing Channel Tunnel business, Eurotunnel would significantly increase its already high share of the cross-Channel market and prices would rise.

The CC also found that Eurotunnel decided to acquire the SeaFrance ferries in order to prevent ferry operator DFDS/LD from buying them. Eurotunnel was concerned that if DFDS/LD obtained the assets cheaply, it could drive down prices for customers. For more on this story, from the UK's Competition Commission, click HERE.

 

Published in Ferry

#StraitofDover– Dover's largest ferry operator P&O Ferries have written to the UK Office of Fair Trading, expressing concern over Eurotunnel's inclusion in a final round process to manage French shortsea ports Calais and Boulogne.

The Channel Tunnel operator's move could lead to 'substantial lessening of competition' in shortsea services between the UK and France.

Chief executive of P&O Ferries, Helen Deeble, said a successful bid by the Channel Tunnel operator could lead to a "substantial lessening of competition" in shortsea services between the UK and France.

Calais and Boulogne, owned by the Nord Pas de Calais Chamber of Commerce, comprise two of the three French shortsea ports serving ro-ro traffic out of the UK.

Ms Deeble, who is also the current president of the UK Chamber of Shipping, said a successful Eurotunnel bid would amount to a "relevant merger" within the Enterprise Act 2002, providing grounds for the OFT to investigate.

P&O Ferries, owned by Dubai World, further argues that the ports of Calais and Boulogne "would cease to be distinct from Eurotunnel" and that £70m ($109.8m) of UK derived turnover would be acquired by Eurotunnel.

As a result, said P&O Ferries: "More than 25% of France-based French sea port services for ex-UK ferry traffic is or will be provided by a single entity, Eurotunnel."   

For much more on this story Lloyd's List has a report.

 

Published in Ferry

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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