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Ferries and Ferry News from Ireland
Some Irish truckers stranded in UK will have to look at other routes, says Eamon Ryan. Above file photo dated Dec. 11th of lorries queuing to access the Eurotunnel site near Folkestone in Kent. AFLOAT adds at nearby Port of Dover is closed to all accompanied traffic leaving the UK until further notice. Operation Stack (phase 2) has now been implemented to deal with freight trucks.
Ferry operators offering direct routes to continental Europe are being asked to bring forward services due to commence the first week of January, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said. Mr Ryan told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that he believed…
An Oireachtas transport committee has been told that new customs checks and import controls at Irish ports due to Brexit will have huge implications and massive knock-on consequences for the road haulage industry. AFLOAT adds in preparation of post-Brexit, Stena Line recently deployed freight-only ferry Stena Foreteller for berthing trials at Rosslare Harbour (above) from where on 4 January, is to double frequency on the route to Cherbourg, France while also earlier that week, by two days, DFDS will launch a new direct freight-route too but connecting Dunkirk also in mainland Europe to avoid the UK 'land-bridge'.
Insufficient ferry capacity may pose an issue, reports The Irish Times, on direct routes to mainland Europe if the key “landbridge” route through Britain becomes congested after Brexit, the haulage industry has warned. Irish Road Haulage Association president Eugene Drennan…
Trucks queue for the Port of Dover: Irish lorries have been caught up in road-side “stacking” of vehicles over the past week. AFLOAT adds ferry operators identified (L-R) DFDS, P&O and a laid-up cruiseship Disney Magic (red funnels) of Disney Cruise Line berthed at the English south-east port in Kent. As Afloat reported last month, DFDS is to launch on 2 January 2021 a new direct freight-only route Rosslare Europort-Dunkirk to bypass post-Brexit congestion, customs checks and clearance. The Danish operator already runs a route from the north French port to Dover but with motorist passengers also included.
Lorries creating long tailbacks at English Channel ferry ports caused by Brexit stockpiling has cost Irish transport firms lost time, heavier overheads and valuable delivery slots, industry insiders said. Irish lorries have been caught up in road-side “stacking” of vehicles…
The port health authorities at Liverpool instructed that the Stena Line’s Irish sea ferry Stena Edda must be held at Birkenhead, across the River Mersey from Liverpool, as a precaution.
Passengers were stranded overnight on a ferry bound for Belfast from Liverpool due to some crew members coming down with Covid-19. The port health authorities at Liverpool instructed that the Stena Edda (introduced earlier this year) must be held at…
Holyhead Port is the second busiest roll-on/roll-off freight ferry port in the UK after the Port of Dover in Kent
A UK parliament committee has said it is deeply concerned that no decision has been made on the location of customs facilities for the ports of Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke - with just 21 days left before the end of…
Stena Foreteller
Stena Line has today announced that it will add an additional freight-only vessel to its Rosslare to Cherbourg route from 4th January 2021. The Stena Foreteller will join the Stena Horizon which already operates on the route, doubling the freight…
Freight ferries at Dublin Port where (on left) P&O Ferries ropax Norbank operates on the Irish Sea between Dublin and Liverpool as part of the UK 'land-bridge'. Also as AFLOAT pictured is CLdN's ro-ro freight ferry Celine dubbed the 'Brexit-Buster' given the giant vessel directly connects the Irish capital to mainland Europe.
The Belgium capital Brussels has stepped up its preparations and held out the prospect of emergency agreements aimed at keeping planes flying and freight trucks crossing to the continent, amid the prospect of a no deal Brexit. As Independent.ie reports,…
The new Stena Embla during sea trials. Stena Line is one of Europe's leading ferry companies with 36 vessels and 18 routes in Northern Europe. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and develops new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea. Stena Line also plays an important role for tourism in Europe with its extensive passenger operations
Stena Line says while today’s news on the Withdrawal Agreement is positive, the ferry company hopes it helps ease the way to agreeing on a Trade Deal. Clarity on Northern Ireland is only one part of Brexit and there remain…
EU-UK Deal: The agreement will be formally approved by EU member states and the UK government in the coming days. Above AFLOAT photo of freight vehicles on a North Channel ferry making an inbound sailing to Northern Ireland from GB.
An agreement between the EU and UK has been reached in principle on how to implement the most contentious issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol. The agreement as RTE reports, was announced in a joint statement by European Commission Vice-President…
Covid-19: The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, if approved, is likely to be the first to arrive in the State early next year. Above: Trucks parked on an upper vehicle deck of a ferry.
Underway are plans to have Covid-19 vaccines delivered into the State by air and, if needed, by land and sea directly from mainland Europe to avoid the UK “landbridge” in case of post-Brexit delays. As The Irish Times reports, concerns…
Irish hauliers face added complications at the Port of Calais because French authorities were "too fast" developing their electronic system to cope with Brexit according to RTE News. Above AFLOAT adds is P&O Ferries 'Darwin' class Pride of Canterbury (in freight-mode configuration only) since October according to the Port of Calais operates the link to Dover in the UK. Rival operators DFDS also serve the short-sea UK land-bridge crossing connecting mainland Europe.
Companies in Ireland exporting food to Europe using the UK land bridge will face extra complications at the Port of Calais because the French authorities were "too fast" in developing their electronic system to cope with Brexit, RTÉ News has…
Brexit: A new lorry customs site could be set up on the outskirts of Holyhead Port in north Wales. Above Afloat adds the main terminal compound located on Salt Island in the outer port serving ferry operators linking Dublin Port
In Holyhead there are plans for the ferry port that show "just how shambolic" UK ministers have been on Brexit claimed the First Minister of Wales.  As BBC News reports, Mark Drakeford said the UK government was "in a scramble to…
Spruce Shipped: Operator DFDS which in a month's time launches a new direct ro-ro freight ferry route between Ireland-mainland Europe (Rosslare-Dunkirk) in northern France to bypass Brexit, recently transported the iconic London Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree. The tradition of this annual gift from Norway to the UK is in recogition of strong ties during WW2. Above: Stern of DFDS ship Ficaria Seaways at the Port of Immingham in the UK from where the unique cargo of a Norway Spruce was bound for the UK capital.
Shipping giant DFDS which this date next month launches a new direct Ireland-mainland Europe ro-ro freight ferry route to bypass Brexit congestion, continued a decades old tradition in transporting from Norway a Christmas Tree to the UK, writes Jehan Ashmore…
CalMac became the first ferry operator in the UK to receive a top industry verification for its compliance of high standard for infection risk management having worked closely with DNVGLearning the right to use their 'My Care' Readiness Mark. AFLOAT adds CalMac with 34 ferries is the the largest fleet in UK waters albeit only in Scottish seas serving West coast islands. Above: CalMac's Clyde based Argyll Flyer was the former Irish ferry 'Banrion Chonamara' which Aran Island Ferries sold almost a decade ago to Argyll Ferries but operations of their Gourock-Dunoon route transferred to CalMac last year. As Afloat previously reported, Aran Island Ferries in 2021 is to introduce Ireland's largest domestic ferry 'Saoirse na Farraige' notably using Galway Harbour.
Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) is the first ferry firm in the UK to receive a top industry verification for its infection risk management processes. The operator of Scotland's lifeline services to west coast islands has been found compliant to a high…
Stena Embla in Weihai, China
Swedish ferry company Stena Line has officially taken ownership of its newest ferry, Stena Embla, following a handover ceremony in Weihai, China. The vessel is the third of five new next-generation E-Flexer RoPax vessels that are being constructed at the…
After much deliberation, the IOMSPCo was excited to announce their new vessel is to be called Manxman! Throughout November, the public had the opportunity to voice their preference for the name of the new purpose-built ferry to enter service in 2023. The newbuild will replace Ben-my-Chree that during a career since 1998 had served the main route, Douglas-Heysham and as AFLOAT highlights on 'seasonal' routes moreso serving on the Belfast route compared to calling to Dublin otherwise operated by a succession of fastcraft.
Manxman is the name chosen for the new Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ferry following an online public consultation. The announcement follows months of deliberation by the Manx ferry company, which in October announced a shortlist of four potential…

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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