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Displaying items by tag: Motorways of the Sea

#MOSconference – A conference on the European Commission's Motorways of the Sea (MoS) initiative to streamline and promote intermodal maritime-based logistics chains is to be held in Liverpool.

The free-to-attend conference is being held at No. 1 Mann Island on 20-21 May, during the United Kingdom's Trade & Investment (UKTI) Export Week, also being held in the city.

Keynote addresses will include former Deputy Prime Minister and Ship's Steward, Lord Prescott. Technical sessions will showcase learning and solutions from 20 EU-funded projects, and highlight key issues to be addressed via future EU policy and funding.

The conference will be moderated by former North West MEP and European Parliament Transport Committee chair Brian Simpson, who is now the Motorways of the Sea project coordinator.

Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership executive director Mark Basnett said: "Do not be mistaken that this event is just a talking shop: it has real purpose, not least during UK Export Week. The chance to get the latest information and influence policy and funding decisions, combined with the opportunity for a face-to face session with key officials, makes this is a must-attend event for anyone interested in trying to secure funding from the Motorways of the Sea and wider Connecting Europe Facility programmes."

To attend the free event, delegates should register at http://attending.io/events/liverpoolmos2015

In advance of the event, on the afternoon of 19 May, 30-minute surgery sessions are available with EU Commission and UK Department of Transport officials in order to discuss potential projects. For further details contact [email protected] to arrange

Published in Ports & Shipping
A former Irish Sea freight ferry which was originally named with an equine-theme, returned to the Dublin-Liverpool port route yesterday and coincides with this Saturday's Aintree Grand National, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The entry of the chartered Norman Trader onto P&O (Irish Sea's) Dublin-Liverpool route retraces her career as the 1998 built ro-pax vessel Dawn Merchant which was used on the same route to start a rival service in 1999. She was soon joined by sistership Brave Merchant to operate the route run by Merchant Ferries which named the vessels after the well known racing thoroughbreds 'Dawn Run' and 'Dancing Brave'.

Dawn Merchant and Brave Merchant represented the first pair of the 'Racehorse' class quartet of ro-pax sisters commissioned for the Cenargo Group. The quartet were built by Spainish shipbuilders Astilleros Espanoles SA in Seville, noting the first pair at 22,046grt where slightly smaller in tonnage terms compared to their 22,215grt counterparts Midnight Merchant and Northern Merchant. Upon delivery in 2000 the second pair were chartered to Norfolkline's Dover-Dunkerque route.

With a 130 truck capacity the Norman Trader can handle a marginally higher number of freight vehicles compared to the Norcape which handled 127 trucks. The Norcape, a 32-year-old freight-only vessel,was stood down in February and remains laid-up at Liverpool's Huskisson Dock. Incidentally, Norman Trader has joined one of her Racehorse class sisters, European Endeavour (formerly Midnight Merchant) which had directly replaced the Norcape on the central corridor route.

Likewise the European Endeavour is no stranger to the Irish route as for the last two years she has acted as winter relief vessel to cover the refits of the routes Dutch built ro-pax sisters Norbay and Norbank. The latter vessel is now undergoing a refit by Cammell Laird Shiprepairers in Birkenhead, now that the Norman Trader is in service to maintain the three-ship operated 8-hour route.

The Norman Trader had arrived into Dublin Bay last Friday from London's Tilbury Docks, on the next day she entered Dublin Port. In recent years she has operated on English Channel routes for the French shipping giant Louis-Dreyfus Armateurs through their ferry division LD Lines.

Norman Trader's (Dawn Merchant) sister Brave Merchant now renamed Norman Bridge also runs for LD Lines 'Motorways of the Seas' (MOS) route across the Bay of Biscay between Nantes /St. Nazaire to Gijón in northern Spain. The 14-hour route which started last year, which was run iniatially as a joint venture between Grimaldi Lines and Louis-Dreyfus and traded as GLD Atlantique.

Published in Ferry
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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