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Displaying items by tag: Rail & Sail

#rail&sail - Peel Ports operators of the Port of Liverpool is set to launch a new rail container service for its customers using the large north-west English port.

The company is in advanced contract discussions with both a rail provider and shippers, with the aim of running the first services before the end of 2017.

It is the first time Peel Ports has offered an integrated package, giving shippers a seamless route to market, from quayside to any UK destination served by major rail lines, or vice versa.

The service was presented during the recent London International Shipping Week (LISW17) hosted at the Lloyds Building by Peel Ports, where leading figures in the UK retail and logistics community will gather to discuss the importance of integration in improving supply chain efficiency.

Peel Ports is also backing calls from Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram for significant investment in the Victorian-era rail infrastructure serving the east-west corridor.

Gary Hodgson, Strategic Projects Director, said: “We have long prided ourselves on being more than just a network of ports providing excellent access to markets around the Irish Sea and close to the heart of the UK. This is the next step in our journey to provide shippers with a more integrated, end-to-end answer for their cargo needs. It’s also an important milestone in our evolution as a company and underlines how serious we are about being a genuine partner in the supply chain community.”

He added: “There are generally good connections on routes heading north and south, but cross-country is a real problem. It’s long overdue that the east-west infrastructure was brought into the 21st century so we can expand rail freight usage and reduce the impact of longer-distance road haulage.”

Jerome Wildsmith, Head of Supply Chain at retailer B&M, added: “Good value is at the heart of our consumer offering so a flexible and lean operation is critical to our business model. Routing through the Port of Liverpool has already saved us the equivalent of 4 million road miles, massively cutting our onward transport costs, reducing the carbon emitted and reducing the likelihood of delays on the UK network. We are excited about the possibilities that this new service will provide our business for achieving even more efficiency gains for our growing operation.”

The new service will complement Liverpool’s wider logistics offering, such as multi-user warehousing, as Peel Ports continues its strategy of operating within the wider supply chain sector. The available train path capacity directly to and from the Port of Liverpool is currently amongst the highest of all major ports within the UK, providing expansion options for importers and exporters that also minimise cost, congestion and carbon emissions.

Liverpool is already used to supply biomass to the Drax power station in North Yorkshire via the trans-Pennine route. The port is also within 25 miles of the West Coast Main Line, providing efficient access and journey times to markets in Scotland, the Midlands and the South-east. For intermodal traffic, the port has W10 gauge clearance capability, allowing 9ft 6in containers to be conveyed on standard deck height rail wagons. For further information about the Liverpool rail container service visit our rails services page below.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#RailSail – The Port of Larne has the only integrated railway and ferry terminal on the island of Ireland, unlike Irish Rail's operated Rosslare Europort, writes Jehan Ashmore.

In more recent times the Rosslare Harbour railway platform was relocated away from the combined terminal. This is in stark contrast to the Co. Antrim ferryport operated by Larne Harbour Ltd (part of the P&O Ferries group) which is directly connected to Translink NI Railways route network linking Belfast.

Passengers can make convenient rail and sail access at Larne. On the North Channel is where P&O Ferries operate the Larne-Cairnryan service. On the Scottish side at Cairnryan there is however no railway station unlike Welsh ferryports of Fishguard and Pembroke that link Rosslare Harbour. 

One of the Larne-Cairnyan ferry sisters the ropax European Highlander assisted the Larne RNLI on a call-out last Sunday. This involved all-weather lifeboat ALB Dr John McSparron evacuate a casualty with medical difficulties from a 160m bulk carrier some nine nautical miles offshore.

In port this morning asides the ferry traffic is berthed freight-ro-ro ferry Arrow, which since December has been ‘wintering’ on an intermittent basis.

Arrow is part of the Seatruck Ferries fleet, however the vessel in recent years began a charter to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. This is to provide back-up support to the island’s main ferry, ropax Ben-My-Chree that operates Douglas-Heysham sailings.

The Port of Larne in recent months has seen cargoships arrive loaded with components for wind-farm projects. Among the callers was BBC Magellen (2010/5,344grt). The ship had wind turbine blades loaded at Emden, Germany.

A fleetmate of the BBC Chartering owned vessel, BBC Orion had docked last week at the Port of Waterford. The call saw the first batch of tower sections for wind-farms projects that are to be repeated throughout the year.

Published in Ferry

#Rail&SailRosslare Europort is a unique Irish port as the Co. Wexford harbour is operated by state-owned Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) which today celebrates its 30th anniversary, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Irish Rail was established on 2 February 1987 and is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE). The national railway operator provides Intercity, Regional, Commuter and at Dublin, DART passenger services and the management of Rosslare Europort. Freight operations are also carried out that include serving other ports, Dublin and Waterford (Belview Terminal).

To mark the occasion Irish Rail invite those to follow the role of the national railway company on twitter @irishrail so to enable to get behind the scenes of their operations for 24 hours. A staff of 3,800 people deliver these train services.

EUROport Operations

The south-east port of Rosslare being the closest point from Ireland to the UK and continental mainland Europe, offers a strategic location.  The port is a major hub for ro-ro passenger and freight ferry operations linking southern Wales and north-western France.

Operating on routes to Wales and France, are Irish Ferries with a route to Pembroke and seasonal services to Cherbourg. In addition to linking Normandy, in the high-season months the company serve to Roscoff, Brittany.

Also operating are Stena Line to Wales but serving from Fishguard, also in Pembrokeshire. The company have a year-round continental service from the Irish port and this too calls to Cherbourg.

Railway's Rosslare 'Sailing' Roots 

The origins of Rosslare as a cross-channel ferryport began more than century ago in 1898, when a join act of Parliament established the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways and Harbours Company (F&RR&H) to provide a service from London to southern Ireland. The entity still survives today despite the changing transport scene from when the first sailings began in 1906.

The amalgamation of the F&RR&H came from the vision of the Victorian entrepreneurs at the Great Southern & Western Railway Company of Ireland and the Great Western Railway of Britain.

The St. Georges Channel link between the southern regions in Ireland and Wales was so to compete with rival railway operations. That been those from London and connecting further north between Holyhead and Dublin.

Rosslare’s Railway Future?

The stretch between the ferryport and Wexford and onward to Gorey, on the Rosslare-Dublin route has been in the media spotlight of recent months. This been over the future of the railway service (and other lines) that poses possible closure between either locations.

Irish Rail the public transport operator have cited reasons of rising losses leading to a lack of funding and falling passenger numbers. 

Those alighting or boarding trains at Rosslare Europort currently have to use the station located five minutes away from the port’s first custom built terminal.

Originally the terminal, which was awarded the 'Anglo-Irish Station of the Year 1990', had an integrated direct platform conveniently serving ‘rail and sail’ passengers.

The demise of this terminal platform for trains and connecting with ferries timetables, have also been an issue down the years. Such critisism notably drawn from the travelling public.

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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