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Displaying items by tag: Ports & Shipping

#PORTS & SHIPPING REVIEW - Over the last fortnight Jehan Ashmore has reported from the Ports & Shipping Scene which saw trade volumes in Drogheda Port continue to rise. An increase of over 44% was recorded for the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period last year.

Off the west coast, a record breaking 48 tonnes of silver bullion has been recovered from the wreck of S.S. Gairsoppa, a 412-ft British cargoship that was torpedoed by U-Boat in WWII.

The Competition Authority is to conduct an in depth review of how our ports perform and how they are to be funded and to examine whether Dublin Port has an economically dominant position.

A boost on all fronts for traffic figures on Stena Line's Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route was welcomed by the ferry operator which completed the takeover of operations from DFDS Seaways last summer.

Single-route operator Celtic Link Ferries reached an agreement with Rosslare Europort, to end a stalemate in over €100,000 relating to unpaid port landing fees.

Deutschland, one of the three cruiseships that visited Dublin Port last weekend completed its cruise in London, where the vessel is currently moored as a floating hotel for the German Olympic Sports Federation.

Belfast M.P. Nigel Dodds is leading a campaign to keep the WWI battleship cruiser HMS Caroline, the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, from leaving the city. The 1914 built ship could be moved to Portsmouth for preservation or even face scrapping.

At the other end of the island, Cork based Irish Mainport Holdings has acquired a new seismic-support ship. The vessel renamed Mainport Kells has recently taken up a long-term charter contract for clients operating in the North Sea.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#FERRY NEWS – Celtic Link Ferries which operates on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route has reached an agreement with Rosslare Europort, to end a stalemate in over €100,000 relating to port landing fees. It comes after the port company recently lodged a petition in court to wind up the company over alleged unpaid bills.

The O'Flaherty brothers who own Celtic Link along with partner O'Leary International Transport Company said that the ferry firm were being overcharged in comparison with competitors Stena Line and Irish Ferries and other ports around the country.

Rosslare Europort had been demanding a landing fee of €14.92 for cars and €48 for freight vehicles, however for some time Celtic Link Ferries have been paying €3 for cars and €35 for freight vehicles, as they believed that this was approximately what their competitors were paying.

For more on this story as reported in last week's edition of the Wexford People click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#PORTS & SHIPPING – Irish Ports are to be reviewed by an in-depth Government Plan to see how funding expansion of the nation's ports can be carried out through the private sector. The Government have ruled-out selling strategic port facilities to fund such projects.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said that a study by the Competition Authority into Ireland's ports would also examine whether Dublin Port had an economically dominant position. Minister Varadkar said that "Dublin Port is hugely successful with 40% of our GDP going through it."

He said that "part of our study will look at whether it is profitable because it is dominant or because it is very competitive."

Minister Varadkar said that "Dublin Port is hugely successful with 40% of our GDP going through it" and added "part of our study will look at whether it is profitable because it is dominant or because it is very competitive."

For more on this story as reported by RTE News click HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#PORTS & SHIPPING REVIEW - Over the last fortnight Jehan Ashmore reports from the shipping scene which saw a 'Pop-Up Village' delivered by cargoship to Galway Port in readiness for the Volvo Ocean Race festival which started yesterday and continues to 8 July.

Arklow Marine Services second wind-farm support vessel (WFSV) Gardian 10 was launched for UK owners and today the vessel travelled from Arklow to Belfast Port and berthed at the Abercorn Basin.

In the rebel county, efforts to revive the Cork-Swansea route took a new step when a group was formed to ascess the feasibility in re-launching the Celtic Sea link that closed last November after Fastnet Line went into examinership.

At the Taoiseach's Public Service Excellence Awards, the Irish Maritime Energy Research Centre (IMERC) based in Haulbowline, Cork Harbour, won an award which was presented by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter T.D. at a ceremony held in Dublin Castle.

Across the world the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) highlighted the Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, where the role of those who work on ships provide a vital service in transporting essential goods on a global scale to meet our needs on a daily basis.

Dublin Port welcomed a flotilla from the Royal Netherlands Navy this weekend, where two of the vessels including a torpedo-training ship HNMLS Mercuur (A 900) was open to the public.

Today the cruiseship Saga Sapphire made her maiden 'Irish' port of call to Cobh having entered service in March for UK based operator Saga Cruises. The 706-passenger capacity ship is due to dock at Dublin Port tomorrow morning.

Former North Channel ferry stalwart Stena Caledonia which operated on the Larne/Belfast-Stranraer routes since 1990 has been sold by Stena Line to ASDP Ferry of Indonesia. She is the last ever passenger ship to have been built by Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#VESSEL VOLVO VILLAGE – Following yesterday's historic arrival of the Deo Volente, the first container ship to be unloaded in Galway Harbour which took six hours to complete concluded the delivery of logistics for the Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The cargo of containers packed with the spectator stand for the prestigious events 'Pop-Up' Village had travelled from Lisbon. But before any of this could be done the heavy-lift cargoship had to enter through the Galway's port dock gates. This was followed with the vessel making manoeuvres in the confines of the tidal basin of Dun Aengus Dock. It was a tight squeeze as the 105m long vessel edged closer to the berth in the basin which was witnessed by onlookers lining the quays.

The vessels cargo was almost the entire race village which is a travelling show that traverses the globe as part of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. It provided a "new challenge for Galway Harbour in handling containers" said Harbour Master Captain Brian Sheridan and I am delighted that the operation went better than anticipated.

After overnighting in the port, Deo Volente sailed this morning en-route to Rotterdam to pick up a cargo bound for the St. Lawrence Seaway. Currently the vessel is underway off the south-west coast.

Published in Galway Harbour

#PORTS & SHIPPING REVIEW – Over the last fortnight Jehan Ashmore reported the shipping scene which saw former Irish President Mary Robinson on board the National Geographic Explorer . She was a guest speaker during a 'Exploring the British Isles and Irish Isles' cruise.

An order for six 40,000 dwt bulk carrier newbuildings was placed by Irish based d'Amico Dry with China's Yangfan Group. D'Amico which is a fully owned subsidiary of the d'Amico group, has made the $134m deal, which values each handymax at $22.3m.

In advance of this weekend's visit of the London Olympic torch bearing tour to Ireland, the cruiseship Braemar called to Dublin Port. The vessel which was on a scheduled cruise is to be used as accommodation ship for key workers during the games for over a month, she is to moor close to the ExCEL Centre, which is to be used for a number of Olympic events.

On the ferry front the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company chartered the Arrow, a freight-ferry to cope with the increased volume in traffic associated with the famous annually held TT Races.

Along the south-west Irish coast, the small expedition cruiseship Clipper Odyssey made an anchorage call off Sneem on the Kenmare River. The 128 passenger vessel visited Co. Kerry having sailed the short distance from Cobh the previous day.

During the same week, two vessels met off Kilronan on Inishmore, Aran Islands. They were the cruiseship Island Sky which had started a cruise from Portsmouth and the lighthouse tender ILV Granuaile (2000/2,365grt) which is based in her homeport of Dun Laoghaire.

The last of the older Dublin Port tug fleet vessels Ben Eadar set sail on a delivery voyage for new owners in Portugal. While on the far side of the Irish Sea, the port of Liverpool welcomed its first turnaround cruise call in forty years in the form of Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV)'s Ocean Countess. However after leaving the Mersey, she suffered a temporary loss of engine power, forcing the vessel to turn around and divert to Holyhead.

Off the sunny south-east coast, the Expedition, a former Baltic Sea ferry converted to cruiseship duties anchored off the Saltee Islands. She sports a bright red hull still retained from her ferry owners, Viking Line, which the company choosed for their first ferry Apollo. Their choice in colour was found when one of the owner's relatives produced her lipstick!

Turning the corner at Carnsore Point and up to the boatyard of Arklow Marine Services where work on their latest newbuild Gardian 10 is nearing completion. The wind farm service vessel (WFSV) is due for launch later this month.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#TRAINEE VESSEL VISIT– A small motor-training vessel the T.S. Jack Petchey based in the UK, is heading for Dublin Port today having called to Arklow, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 24m long vessel built in 2010 is based in London. She has 16 berths which will allow her owners The Marine Society & Sea Cadets to train 16,000 young people over the next quarter century.

She is named after one of the UK's most successful businessmen, Jack Petchey who donated £1million to enable the society to build the vessel. At her commissioning ceremony she was berthed alongside Tower Bridge and St. Katharine's Docks on the Thames.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#MANX FERRY – The IOM Today reports that the Manx Government is drawing up plans to ensure that any wind-farms built within the waters off the island would not affect ferry routes.

Work on the Isle of Man Marine Plan is under way and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture's director of environment Martin Hall said it was important it was completed in a 'timely manner'.

One of the plan's objectives would be to identify current activities in Manx waters and safeguard their ongoing use. Mapping the location of navigation corridors, important natural areas and pipelines/cables will enable the island to identify potential wind farm sites that will not adversely affect current uses of the Manx marine environment, including ferry routes and fishing.

The comments come following criticism from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company over Centrica's plans for a wind farm in the Irish Sea, outside Manx waters. The Steam Packet says that Centrica plans to develop in the path of two routes: Douglas-Liverpool and Douglas-Heysham, in spite of complaints from the ferry operator. For much more on this story click HERE.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS – The Irish Continental Group (ICG) operators of ferry division Irish Ferries, said today its pre-tax profit for last year fell by 30 per cent to €28.2 million on the back of higher fuel costs, reports The Irish Times.

Despite the tough trading conditions, the group said it revenue for 2011 rose by 4.2 per cent to €273.3 million. Irish Ferries saw its passenger numbers for the year fall marginally by 0.7 per cent to 1,527 million, while its roll-on roll-off freight rose up by 9 per cent.

The company said the extremely challenging economic circumstances in the Republic contributed to the lack of growth in the market, and the pressure on operating costs for our freight customers remained intense.

Chairman John B McGuckian predicted the current year would remain challenging as fuel costs have further increased but with the group's "disciplined approach to capacity" he said he was confident of its prospects.

In the year to date, the ferry operator has carried 31,100 cars, down 8.5 per cent on 2011 and 138,600 passengers, up 0.8 per cent on 2011.

The reduction in car carryings partially reflects an 11 per cent reduction in sailings in the year to date but also a quieter than expected start to the year, it said.

Published in Ferry

#FERRY NEWS – A passenger ferry and cargo vessel collided in Belfast Lough last night and there are no reports of any injuries. The incident happened close to the Fairway buoy about a mile and a half from shore between Carrickfergus and Helen's Bay, according to BBC News.

It is understood that the ferry Stena Feronia (1997/21,856grt) has now docked at the Stena terminal. The other vessel - a cargo ship, the Union Moon (1985/1,543grt)- was accompanied by the coastguard as it was brought back to Belfast.

The ferry was on its way from Birkenhead, Merseyside, to Belfast when the collision happened, to read more on this story click HERE.

Published in Ferry
Page 4 of 6

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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