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Displaying items by tag: UK Gov

Ferry firms involving four operators have landed UK government contracts worth a total of £77.6m to provide post-Brexit freight capacity.

Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O Ferries and Stena Line, according to BBC News, will have the job of ensuring medical supplies and other vital goods continue to get to the UK.

The government says it wants a smooth flow of freight "whatever the outcome of negotiations with the EU",

Contracts will be in place for up to six months after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

The additional capacity will be on quieter ferry routes between mainland Europe and UK ports in Felixstowe, Harwich, Hull, Newhaven, Poole, Portsmouth, Teesport and Tilbury.

Published in Ferry

The British Ports Association (BPA) outlines that decarbonisation, innovation, infrastructure, freeports and properly functioning and resourced regulators are key asks for future government spending, which the association set out in a letter to the UK Chancellor from the ports industry today.

While the UK government’s planned ‘comprehensive spending review’ may be on ice for another year, according to reports, the BPA delivered its submission to the Treasury noting that reforms putting ports at the heart of regional economies should not be delayed.

With EU Exit [Brexit] imminent, the BPA has also called for funding to future-proof the sector. As a member of umbrella group Maritime UK, the BPA's submission complements MUK's submission, which calls for a £1bn maritime decarbonisation programme.

Commenting, Mark Simmonds, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the British Ports Association and Chair of Maritime UK's Policy Working Group said: “Whilst the Chancellor may understandably delay this process due to continuing uncertainty from covid-19, we hope the Government does not take its eye off decarbonisation and climate change, which is an urgent challenge.

For further details LloydsLoadingList reports of the BPA submission to the UK government. 

Published in Ports & Shipping

In the UK the Government, according to Belfast Telegraph, is set to pay for work on post-Brexit port checks in Northern Ireland, DAERA Minister Edwin Poots has said.

The DUP MLA told the BBC that the UK Government would now pay for the work after he reportedly proposed pausing it due to the current political uncertainty around Brexit.

In the summer, the Government said enhanced regulatory checks would be required on animals and food products crossing the Irish Sea from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the terms of the Brexit deal.

The Executive assumed a legal responsibility to undertake the work for the Government to enable it to fulfil its international obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement.

However, Mr Poots expressed a reluctance to commit an estimated £40m to the project without further clarity. Click for more here

Published in Ports & Shipping
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In the UK the Government, reports NorthWalesLive, has been accused of “waiting for Holyhead Port to fail before stepping in”, amid a funding row over Irish Sea (ferry) transport links.

Disappointment has been expressed following an announcement on Friday that the Holyhead to Dublin route has been left out of a £17m support package for Stena Line, P&O and Seatruck to maintain “critical routes” between ports in the UK mainland with Northern Ireland.

This was despite calls from local politicians, including the letter of Anglesey Council, who had written to ministers urging financial backing to help bridge the gap due to the drop-off in passenger services during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Answering subsequent criticism of the decision, including from the Welsh Government, a spokesperson for the UK Government said that the the Dublin-Holyhead route is “running effectively” but the situation is being continually monitored.

Further criticism came in the Commons on Monday from Arfon MP Hywel Williams, with the Chancellor failing to offer immediate assurances over financial support for Holyhead Port amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

For much more on the north Wales ferryport click here.

Published in Ferry

In the UK the government has defended not including the Holyhead to Dublin Port on Irish Sea ferry routes supported with public funding, as NorthWalesLive also reported.

The UK Government has made £17m available to Stena Line, P&O and Seatruck to maintain “critical routes” between ports in England and Scotland and Northern Ireland during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Northern Ireland Executive will cover 40% of the costs.

But the route between Anglesey and Ireland has not been supported - a decision criticised by Welsh Government and Ynys Mon AM Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Now though the UK Government has responded.

A spokesman said: “The Dublin-Holyhead route is running effectively, but the UK and Irish Governments - alongside the Welsh Government - continue to monitor the situation.

More on this ferry development click here

 

Published in Ferry

Additional financial support is needed to keep the Port of Holyhead’s ferry operators going during the Coronavirus pandemic, it has been claimed.

While some freight services continue between Wales and Ireland, the slashing of passenger services has led to calls for UK Government cash to bridge the gap between a drop in income and running costs of maintaining such an important strategic international transport and freight route between Dublin and Holyhead.

As a result, the leader of Anglesey Council has written to transport secretary Grant Shapps and Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart to highlight her concerns on how it could affect the 400 workers based at the port.

Cllr Llinos Medi described the impact of coronavirus on the day-to-day operations of both Holyhead Port’s ferry operators – Stena Line and Irish Ferries – as “severe” with both having already curtailed services but remaining committed to maintaining transport of critical freight.

For much more click NorthWalesLive here

Published in Ferry

BBC News reports that the UK government has awarded £86.6m of contracts to ferry companies to transport medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Brittany Ferries, DFDS (see: related Brexit info), P&O and Stena Line will be able to deliver those supplies from 31 October, it said.

The contracts are aimed at making sure deliveries of vital products continue, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The government was criticised earlier this year after awarding a transport contract to a company (Seaborne Freight) with no ferries.

The contracts will be in place for six months so the government is prepared for different Brexit scenarios, a spokesperson said.

For more including concerns over sourcing of medical supplies click here. 

Published in Ferry

The Irish Sea ports of Liverpool and Heysham in addition Sheerness (London Medway) all part of the Peel Ports Group, have received funding to enhance measures they have already taken to improve resilience ahead of the UK’s expected departure from the EU on 31 October.

The funding according to Peel Ports Group was announced last month by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

These funds will go towards creating more space for HGV parking and container storage to support smooth trade operations by RORO (roll-on, roll-off) ferries, especially across the Irish Sea. (Afloat adds, Peel Ports also operate the MTL Terminal in Dublin Port.)

The fund comes as part of a £30m government scheme, announced last month, to bolster ports across England and ensure they continue to operate efficiently post-Brexit.

Mark Whitworth, Chief Executive Officer of Peel Ports, said: “We are doing everything we can to help our customers continue delivering import and export trade throughout our port network. This government funding helps us to put in place additional measures to achieve that. Whatever happens after 31 October we are as ready as we can be to facilitate global commerce that will benefit the UK economy.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our world-leading maritime ports are fundamental not only to our success as a global trading nation but also to people’s everyday lives, bringing vital goods into the country. This timely investment will support ports across the country in their work to boost capacity and efficiency, ensuring they’re ready for Brexit and a successful future.”

For information on Peel Ports RoRo services click this link.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

The British Ports Association has responded to the UK Government’s “two borders for four years” Brexit proposals which was announced by the Conservative Party this week.

Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of BPA said “The majority of Northern Ireland’s trade is with Great Britain and a border in the Irish Sea would be extremely challenging for the ports in Northern Ireland and those in England and Scotland who have freight routes. Ironically also in a ‘no deal’ situation there could be displacement issues for Welsh ports.

We recognise the sensitivities and issues around the land border and have always said that the best resolution and the best way to meet the Government’s commitment to frictionless trade is a deal that has no customs or regulatory checks at all, anywhere.”

Afloat.ie adds that Belfast Harbour is to host the BPA's annual Conference between 15-18 October.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

#ferries - In the UK the Department for Transport is cancelling contracts to provide extra ferry services after Brexit.

As BBC News reports, ending the contracts with Brittany Ferries and DFDS could cost the taxpayer more than £50m. (See related Eurotunnel payout story). 

The government bought £89m worth of capacity from the two firms. Some of that capacity might be sold, but millions of pounds could be lost.

The contracts were designed to ease pressure on the port of Dover, by creating extra services at other ports.

In February, the DfT was forced to axe its £13.8m contract with a third company, Seaborne Freight, which the BBC found had never sailed a vessel.

Earlier this year, the National Audit Office estimated that the cancellation costs of all the ferry contracts would be £56.6m.

The cost is likely to only be several million pounds less than this. More on the story, here.

Published in Ferry
Page 1 of 2

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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