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Displaying items by tag: New Reservation System

#NewFerryInitiative - The FerryGateway Association which has been formed by major European ferry operators includes Irish Ferries. The association's other members are; Stena Line, DFDS, P&O Ferries, Viking Line, Tallink/Silja Line, Brittany Ferries and Color Line. 

The aim of FerryGateway is to proactively work together to improve sales and distribution of ferry travel. Its first step is the launch of a new systems communications standard for agents and ferry operators.

Hans Björkborg, Managing Director of The FerryGateway Association says: "In Northern Europe alone 125 million passengers travel annually on ferries and online sales between agents and ferry operators has been growing fast. Until now system connections have been supported by out-dated and non-standardised solutions, the new FerryGateway standard is set to change this."

The main advantage with the new FerryGateway xml based communication standard is that a wider range of products and services can be offered for sale.

Hans Björkborg says: "We will also be able to better meet our customers' expectations by being able to offer the full range of ferry products and services. By making selling ferry travelling both easier and more attractive we expect to see growing interest from a wide range of B2B partner organisations."

Besides increasing sales, the new standard will also improve efficiency and lower costs, as agents and operators will only have to maintain one standardised way of system communication.

The standard will be open for all registered users and will be accessible via the ferrygateway.org website.

Agents and operators are already progressing to have the new standard implemented to go live well before the 2016 peak booking season.

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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