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Displaying items by tag: Cobelfret

#Cobelfret – Finnlines have acquired ro-ro freighter Dorset from Cobelfret, which spent a brief spell late last year (see report/photo) on their Irish operations, Dublin- Zeebrugge and also to Rotterdam, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The sale to Finnlines earlier this year sees the 2,606 lane-metre vessel renamed Finnmerchant of 23,235 tonnes serve a new Baltic Sea route between Hanko,Finland and Rostock, Germany.

In addition the move to Scandinavia comes only a year later to when a Cobelfret subsidiary, C-Bulk Shipping purchased the 2003 built vessel launched as Longstone along with sister, Beachy Head.

It was in the previous spring of 2013 that the pair become surplus to the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) requirements as part of a Private Finance Initiative contract involving all six 'Point' class sisters.

The sale in 2014 of Longstone to Cobelfret and renaming as Dorset followed a career with Foreland Shipping. That operator was previously Andrew Weir Shipping (AWSR Ltd) who originally ordered the vessel as part of quartet of Point class sisters from FGS yard in Flensberg, Germany.

The remaining Point-class pair where built by Harland & Wolff which completed Hartland Point first. Her sister, Anvil Point made history as she became the last ever ship to be completed at the famous yard when she was launched into Belfast Lough in 2003.

Another Irish connection with the Scandinavian operator came in the form of Celtic Ferries, whose ro-ro freighter, Finnforest, was chartered to serve in the Baltic.

Finnforest was originally built for Stena as one of the 'Searunner' class in which a sister, Diplomat became Celtic Link Ferries first ship running Rosslare-Cherbourg sailings. 

Celtic Link Ferries final Ireland-France sailing came to an end more than a year ago (March 31, 2014).

From thereon, the operations of CLF were officially acquired by Stena Line and this included the chartered Celtic Horizon on the 17 hour crossing.

The ro-pax was given a revised renaming, Stena Horizon and marked the operators first ever Ireland-mainland European route.  

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Dublin Port Company has approved for the railway extension of the existing track tramway on Alexandra Road in order to serve one of the port's Lo-Lo container terminals, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The new extension is to directly connect rail-freight trains to the Common User Container Terminal at Alexandra Quay East. The extension will make a right turn off the Alexandra Road immediately after the Tara Mines zinc unloading facility and then along the quayside to the terminal, close to Ocean Pier.

Currently there are three weekly rail-freight trains running between Ballina, Co. Mayo and Dublin port, where the containers are required to be loaded and unloaded on Alexandra Road. From this location they are transferred by road to the terminal. When the new rail-tramway is completed in April, this will reduce costs by eliminating the transfer.

The rail-freight service to Dublin Port started operations in August 2009 and is run as a public private partnership between International Warehousing & Transport (IWT), Iarnrod Eireann and Dublin Port. IWT is the only train operator to the port, but it is believed that the Dublin Port Company has received a number of enquiries from other port users who are interested in using the new facility.

IWT are also agents for Tschudi Shipping and Tschudi Logistics on services to the Belgium, The Netherlands, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea which use the Common User Container Terminal. The terminal is operated by the Burke Shipping Group through its subsidiary Portroe Stevedores. Other clients using the terminal are Cobelfret, C2C Lines, APL, Coastal Containers, Evergreen, Gracechurch and OOCL.

In addition to the terminal, the port operates two other container facilities at the Dublin Ferryport Terminal (DFT) and the Marine Terminals Ltd (MTL). According to figures released yesterday, Dublin Port recorded growth in Lo-Lo container volumes by 1.1% with an outturn of 554,259 TEU in 2010.

Dublin Port's position as the island's largest Lo-Lo (unitised) port was reinforced by the rail-freight services to Ballina. According to IWT the service on an annual basis saves up to 5.5m road kilometres and CO2 emissions are reduced by as much as 2,750 tonnes. In addition the service removes up to 10,000 trucks away from the roads.

The Common User Container Terminal is also a multi-model terminal, as Ro-Ro traffic started in 2009 with the installation of a new ramp at berth 36/37 at Ocean Pier, Alexandra Basin East. In 2010 the port recorded Ro-Ro freight units increase by 12.8% to 725,665 which is less than 1% down from the port's highest ever throughput.

Ro-Ro growth in 2010 was driven in part by the new CLdN /Cobelfret Ro-Ro services to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. CLdN's ro-ro Yasmine made a recent first-time visit to the port followed by the newest vessel of the Belgium owned fleet, Amandine (see photo) the last of six con-ro newbuilds, which too made an inaugural visit to the port. The 195-m vessel departed from the upgraded ramp at Ocean Pier yesterday bound for Rotterdam.

For further port traffic figures which showed an overall increase in the port's volumes of 6.1% in 2010, logon here

Published in Ports & Shipping
Three large vessels from one company arrived into Dublin Port on Sunday, to include an inaugural call of the 49,166 tonnes M.V. Pauline from Zeebrugge, writes Jehan Ashmore.
At 203-metres the Pauline built in 2006, made a special once-off sailing to the capital to cope with the demand in January car-sales imports. Nearly 1,000 vehicles were carried between the Pauline and the 195-metre Opaline which arrived later on the day from Rotterdam.

Normally the Pauline operates on other routes. She along with her sister Yasmine are the largest vessels in the Compagnie Luxemburgeoise de navigation SA (CLnd) / Cobelfret fleet. The vessels are of the Con-Ro design, also known as the 'HumberMax' vessels which have 5,632 lane metres capable of carrying 258 container trailers and 656 cars.

Apart from the Dublin debut of the Pauline which docked at Ocean Pier, the final vessel of the trio, Celestine (1996 / 23,986grt) was the first to arrive from Zeebrugge, docking at the ferryport berth 51A (also used daily by Stena Line vessels). Like the Pauline, the Opaline (2009 / 25,235grt) docked at Ocean Pier and is the newest and last of six newbuilds built from German yard of FGS Flensburg.

CLnD won the Short-Sea Shipping Company Award in 2010 at the Irish Exporter Awards in November and hosted by the Irish Exporter Association (IEA). The award was sponsored by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) which recognises the strategically important role of short sea shipping to our island economy.

There are four sailings operated by CLnD between Dublin Port and Rotterdam / Zeebrugge. From the Dutch port there are onward sailings linking Göteborg and Esbjerg while the Belgian route connects the UK ports of Killingholme, Purfleet and Ipswich.

The development of the Irish routes are part of the "Motorways of the Sea", an EU-wide programme to promote a modal shift of goods from congested roads to alternative sea transportation. In addition to the concept is the international trend in the use of larger and more efficient vessels.

In October 2009 CLnD /Cobelfret switched their Irish operations from Rosslare to Dublin Port. The transfer to Dublin allowed CLnD to introduce larger tonnage at the then newly upggraded No. 2 ro-ro linkspan at Ocean Pier, Alexandra Basin East.

CLdN ro-ro SA and CLdN ro-ro UK offer ro-ro connections from Belgium and the Netherlands to the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark. Both divisions share a combined core fleet of 20 vessels. Some ships including the Pauline are registered and flagged from land-locked Luxembourg. The fleet operate on short sea ro-ro trade routes, occasionally supplemented by time chartered tonnage, which accommodate trailers, containers, vehicles and other rolling equipment.

Published in Ports & Shipping

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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