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CLdN Ramps Up Capacity On UK-Europe Routes in Run Up to Brexit Transitional Stage

12th October 2020
As from last week, Luxembourg based CLdN Ro Ro S.A. added 25% extra capacity on both Rotterdam-London and Rotterdam-Humberside routes, where above AFLOAT's photo at the North Sea port (Killingholme) is berthed 'Brexit-Buster' Delphine which occasionally serves Dublin-mainland Europe routes to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. Alongside is a fleetmate Yasmine which too operates at times on the Irish routes. As from last week, Luxembourg based CLdN Ro Ro S.A. added 25% extra capacity on both Rotterdam-London and Rotterdam-Humberside routes, where above AFLOAT's photo at the North Sea port (Killingholme) is berthed 'Brexit-Buster' Delphine which occasionally serves Dublin-mainland Europe routes to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. Alongside is a fleetmate Yasmine which too operates at times on the Irish routes. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

CLdN which operates Ireland-mainland Europe routes served by freightferry ro-ro 'Brexit-Busters' tonnage, is to step up preparations for the end of the Brexit transitional phase on 31st December 2020 by introducing additional capacity on its UK routes. (See: Brexit 'Freeports story). 

As from last week, Multimodal reported, that 25% extra capacity was added on both the Rotterdam -London and Rotterdam - Humberside routes. In addition, and from week 42, an extra vessel will be deployed and thus a third daily sailing will be added on the Zeebrugge – London route to serve the growing demand.

Over the last months, CLdN have seen a steady growth in customer demand for its reliable, low cost and Brexit -proof unaccompanied freight product. Shipping unaccompanied trailers, (tank) containers, finished vehicles or project cargo between its own ferry terminals provides a ‘one stop shop’ to get goods shipped across the North Sea without running the risk of disruption.

In recent years, CLdN has invested heavily in a fleet of modern vessels with environmentally friendly credentials offering high capacities for freight crossing the North Sea, Irish Sea and Bay of Biscay. The company has maintained its regular sailing schedules on all routes throughout the difficult Covid period and is there to serve the market with robust and reliable products going forwards.

CLdN plays an essential part in the logistics of all types of goods on a network of services among them as alluded in the introduction the Irish services which are Dublin-Zeebrugge-Rotterdam. (Afloat.ie adds a lo-lo service is also maintained by the containership Arx which today is at anchorage In Dubin Bay during a routine layover in between sailings). 

In total the network of short sea services connects the following European ports; Rotterdam (NL) and Zeebrugge (BE) to London (UK), Humberside (UK), Liverpool (UK), Dublin (IE), Cork (IE) as well as Santander, (ES), Porto (PT) Gothenburg (SE) and Esbjerg (DK).

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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