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Displaying items by tag: LarneCairnryan

#FerryNews - The highest volume of freight traffic in six years was carried on P&O Ferries Larne-Cairnryan service during 2017.

The ferry and logistics company, which operates between Northern Ireland and Scotland, carried 210,533 lorries and trailers on its ships during the last 12 months. The figure represents a 1.3 per cent increase on 2016 and is the best result since 2011.

P&O Ferries operates seven sailings a day between Larne and Cairnryan. The service on the North Channel is operated by the 22,000 ton sister ships European Highlander and European Causeway. The pair provide a bridge for goods being transported between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and Britain, and also on to the continent via P&O Ferries' connecting services from Dover, Tilbury, Hull and Teesport.

Neal Mernock, P&O Ferries' Sector Director for the Irish Sea, said: "These outstanding volumes illustrate the vital importance of our service to the thousands of businesses and millions of consumers who rely on the efficient and reliable transportation of goods across the Irish Sea."

"Larne is fast establishing itself as the gateway of choice for anyone exporting to or from Ireland, thanks to its outstanding connectivity via road and rail, and also the fact that it is nine miles closer to Scotland than the port at Belfast."

"The reliability of our service was exemplified in the spring when we brought one of our English Channel ferries, European Seaway, to cover the route while the other two ships went into dry dock for annual maintenance. The feedback from our customers was that they hadn't noticed any difference, which is the ultimate compliment."

In 2017 P&O Ferries saw strong volumes of agricultural and dairy produce, building materials, consumer goods, machinery, peat and household coal being transported on its two Irish Sea crossings, Larne-Cairnryan and Dublin-Liverpool, see Afloat's related coverage.

P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing 27,000 times a year on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium. It operates more than 20 vessels which carry 10 million passengers and 2.2 million freight units annually.

Together with its logistics division, P&O Ferrymasters, the company also operates integrated road and rail links to countries across the continent including Italy, Poland, Germany, Spain and Romania. P&O Ferrymasters also owns a rail terminal in the Romanian city of Oradea, which facilitates the onward movement of goods to Britain from Asian countries via the Silk Road.

Afloat adds the operator is also examining opening a North Sea service linking Scotland and Scandinavia.

Published in Ferry

#ReliefFerry - European Seaway, one of five Dover-Calais ships serving P&O Ferries premier short-sea route arrived to Larne for the first time this morning so to provide refit cover, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 22,988 gross tonnage ‘Super-Freighter’ class freight-ferry had sailed through the English Channel direct from Calais on a repositioning voyage to the North Channel.

On completion of berthing trials, the 124 x 15m freight unit capacity vessel is to begin covering crossings on the Larne-Cairnryan route as previously reported.  This will allow a pair of ropax ships to be refitted on Merseyside.

During the two-month deployment of the Strait of Dover vessel, the ropax European Causeway (20,646gt) and European Highlander (21,188gt) are to take turns dry-docked at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.

Each of the almost identical sisters with a 418 passenger capacity are to undergo an 18-day period of refit work. The first such work since 2015. Refit work will involve hull repairs, blast and paint jobs and steel deck renewals in addition to improvements made to passenger facilities.

For information on sailing schedule click here.

The £1.2m contract for the refits had also included P&O Ferries central corridor Dublin-Liverpool route ropax sisters, that began in March firstly with Norbay followed by Norbank. This saw sailings covered by the chartered car-carrier Neptune Aegli.

Published in Ferry

#NorthChannel – In an unusual move, a Dover-based freight-ferry is to be deployed on P&O Ferries Larne-Cairnryan route for two months while a pair of ropax sisters are refitted on Merseyside, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Sisters European Causeway and slightly longer European Highlander of 21,000 gross tonnage will depart North Channel duties to Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.They are to undergo apiece an 18-day refit work.

European Seaway, one of the Dover-Calais fleet which P&O Ferries usually deploys as an accompanied freight-only vessel carrying up to 200 passengers on the English Channel, will travel to the North Channel to cover for them. This is to begin over the next two months. 

The 124 x 15m freight unit capacity European Seaway, is slightly larger in tonnage terms at 22,988 to the route’s routine ropax sisters that ply the busy short-sea ferry crossing to Scotland.

The programme for the North Channel ropax comprises hull repairs, blast and paint jobs and steel deck renewals is scheduled to be completed by early June. This will be the first time the ships have been re-fitted since 2015 when improvements were made to passenger facilities.

The £1.2m contract for the refits also includes P&O Ferries central corridor Dublin-Liverpool route in which ropax sister, Norbay has already begun a refit as Afloat reported earlier this week. The 17,500 gross tonnage ship is to be followed by Norbank. Both dry-dockings will take 16 days to complete.

As Afloat reported at the start of this week, P&O chartered-in vehicle-carrier, Neptune Aegli which took up duties from Norbay. The Greek operated ship also joins European Endeavour which had been drydocked in February at the Merseyside dockyard and shipbuilder.

As also alluded in that earlier report, P&O Ferries Hull-Zeebrugge sisters Pride of Hull and Pride of Bruges returned recently from career- extension refits in Gdansk, Poland, but this also included a Dover-Calais pair. They are Pride of Canterbury and Pride of Burgundy. The refits of this quartet by Remontowa shipyard cost £14m. Pride of Burgundy is a larger and converted sister of the North Channel bound European Seaway.

The 1991 built European Seaway is the only sister of four ‘Super-Freighter’s built for Dover-Zeebrugge service that remains in an un-altered state. The other trio were modified with extensive rebuilding of passenger accommodation block added to the ship’s superstructure.

On a trip to Cornwall during 2004, European Seaway was observed laid-up in Falmouth. Since then the career of the ferry has not always been in a such a role. Charters have included serving as accommodation-only vessel during construction of wind energy projects in the North Sea.

Published in Ferry

#FreightVolumes - Operator P&O Ferries has announced that it handled the highest volume of freight in five years on its Larne-Cairnryan service in 2016.

The ferry and logistics company's route on the North Channel linking Northern Ireland and Scotland handled 206,700 freight units on the route during the last 12 months. This figure represents a 7.5 per cent increase on the previous year (192,200 units).

In a further indicator of the reliability of P&O Ferries' service, 2016 was the first ever year in which none of the 4,774 sailings scheduled from the port of Larne was cancelled, with 97 per cent of departures within ten minutes of their published time.

P&O Ferries operates seven sailings a day between Larne and Cairnryan in Scotland, a two hour service which is the shortest crossing of any operator on the North Channel. The regular daily service provides a bridge for goods being transported between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and Britain, and also on to the continent via its connecting services from Dover, Tilbury, Hull and Teesport.

Neal Mernock, P&O Ferries' Director responsible for the Irish Sea, said: "This highly encouraging performance shows that the economy of Northern Ireland is continuing to grow, notwithstanding the uncertainty heralded by the Brexit vote in June. We invested £500,000 last year in our two purpose built ferries on the route, the European Highlander and European Causeway, to upgrade facilities and passenger areas on the ships. This has already paid a dividend in terms of increasing customer satisfaction with our services."

"The frequency of sailings, short crossings, excellent reliability and the fact that the port is now only 30 minutes from Belfast by road via the newly built A2 are increasingly making Larne the gateway of choice for anyone exporting to or from Northern Ireland. We have seen particularly strong volumes of agricultural and dairy produce, household and stores goods, building materials and machinery."

 

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS-P&O Irish Sea's Larne-Troon freight-ferry Norcape (14,087grt) departed the Co. Antrim port last week to be broken-up at ship-breakers in Aliaga, Turkey. She originally served B+I Line as the Tipperary, but her last sailings took place on the North Channel in late November, as the ageing vessel is in her fourth decade of service, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 125-trailer capacity ro-ro was not replaced on the single-ship operated route which closed for the winter months, though sailings will resume next March by the 92m fast-ferry Express. In the meantime freight traffic will be accommodated on the companies Larne-Cairnryan service.

Yesterday morning Norcape transitted the Strait of Gibraltar having called en-route to Falmouth several days previously. She represented the last vessel to serve in Irish waters with a direct link to B+I Line, the state-owned operator which was sold in 1992 to ICG, parent company of Irish Ferries.

When she arrives in Aliagra, this is where her former P&O fleetmate European Mariner (5,897grt) was scrapped after also serving Larne-Troon sailings until last July. Norcape entered the North Channel route replacing the smaller 53-trailer capacity vessel.

Prior to then Norcape had been in laid-over in Liverpool docks when European Endeavour replaced her in February on the Dublin-Liverpool route. To read more click HERE.

Norcape's return to the Irish Sea service in 2009, reflected her original career for P&O. She was named Puma in 1979 from the Japanese shipyard at the Mitsui Engineering & SB Co Ltd, Tamano, however she was chartered to B+I Line and renamed Tipperary. To read more and to view a deck-drawing profile, click HERE.

Her career started with a new Dublin-Fleetwood route jointly operated with P&O, who contributed with a sister, the Ibex. The P&O brand name Pandoro stood for P and O Ro, their roll-on roll-off freight division. The route's UK port switched to Liverpool in 1988 with Tipperary remaining on the route until sold to North Sea Ferries in 1989 and renamed Norcape.

Before her transfer to the North Sea, Tipperary collided with the 4,674grt bulker Sumburgh Head off the entrance to Dublin Port in 1988. Incidentally the two vessels, under different names and ownership were in Dublin Port in 2010, as previously reported (with photo) click HERE.

Published in Ferry

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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