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Displaying items by tag: Ferry news

#CorkCars? - Nissan Europe have dismissed speculation, writes TheJournal.ie, that it is interested in taking over a site south of Cork City at the 130-acre former Amgen facility in Carrigtwohill.

Fianna Fáil city councillor Kenneth O’Flynn had claimed that he had been tipped off by industry insiders that the Japanese automobile production giant may be interested in locating to east Cork.

Nissan Europe’s lukewarm response as to whether it was fully committed to Sunderland in the north- east of the UK in the wake of Brexit had increased speculation about its future plans.

However, a spokesperson for Nissan Europe was unequivocal in her response when contacted by the Evening Echo. She said: “There’s nothing to this tip-off.”

To read more and of the FF councillor views on the use of Port of Cork click here.

In addition see: Seatruck’s new Dublin-Bristol trade car route that follows in the wake of 1970's car industry serving Dublin and notably the Port of Cork and related former Ford assembly plant.

Published in Port of Cork

#Almost360Seatruck Ferries launch of new Dublin-Bristol route last month is almost full circle, as a similar trade car service began more than 40 years ago, albeit instead using a south Wales port, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The ro-ro Clipper Ranger, an R class freight ferry with a capacity for 165 unaccompanied trailer units has been in service since early September on the English route. The Port of Bristol (Portbury) is where the UK west coast port is also a major hub for car imports. This is where Seatruck have tapped into the car manufacturering industry by entering the Irish marketplace through Dublin Port.

In a further developent, according to today's TheJournal.ie, Nissan has denied speculation it will move to Cork as the car manufacturer would either build a new facility or move its Sunderland car plant to the Irish city.

Asides the speculation, Seatruck’s new service is the first ro-ro freight only service connecting Dublin and a Bristol Channel port since the early 1970’s. It is again this role of the car industry that links the Ireland-UK connection to more than four decades ago as in 1974, Seaspeed Ferries established a Dublin-Barry route and in the same year added a second link, Cork-Barry in south Wales.

The Irish city is where Ford had an assembly plant rolling out cars off the production line. Large numbers of completed vehicles, however were also imported in which Seaspeed secured that contract.

The Ford contract proved so successful for Seaspeed, that they increased the Celtic Sea route from once weekly to that of twice weekly on the Barry-Cork service. The newcomer during their tenure on both Barry-Dublin /Cork routes was served by three vessels. Seaspeed Ferry, Seaspeed Trailer and Seaspeed Challenger which traded for Seaspeed Ferries Corporation, Piraeus.

The Greek based operator, however faced what they claimed a lack of co-operation from B+I Line, to whom they shared the linkspan at Cork’s Tivoli terminal. This was a contributory factor that led to Seaspeed pulling out of Cork in late 1975 and instead concentrate on Dublin-Barry operations.

In an ironic twist, Seaspeed Challenger was chartered by B+I Line years later, when in 1989 the state-owned ferry operator had to seek tonnage to increase freight capacity on Rosslare-Pembroke Dock route. B+I had failed to secure a passenger car ferry that could also handle adequate freight capacity on the St. Georges Channel route to Pembroke Dock.

During the charter to B+I, Seaspeed Challenger, had since changed hands and named as Oleander under Cypriot flag. The 3,163 tonnes vessel presented an unusual appearance in Irish waters, given her Mediterranean naval architecture background, sporting sweeping lines having been launched in 1973 as Monica Russotti in Messina, Sicily. Such Italian styling was notably taken in when an opportunity arose to board the then red hulled vessel at Rosslare in between freight sailings.

Rivals, Sealink British Ferries serving Fishguard, had chartered Earl Harold, a former Channel Islands car ferry to B+I Line. Uniquely, the SBF ferry was liveried in her Irish counterpart colours.

Returning to B+I’s operations at Cork, the linkspan at Tivoli was not just for their south Wales link but also served Brittany Ferries on their continental crossings to and from Roscoff. The present day terminal is 12 miles downriver at Ringaskiddy in lower Cork Harbour. Sadly, Brittany Ferries are the sole users of the facility on which the seasonal-only service ceases early next month.

Published in Ferry

#CalMacContract - The £900m ferry contract to operate Scottish west coast services awarded to CalMac Ferries Ltd by Transport Scotland earlier this year, has been in force for almost a week.

The contract that began last Saturday, 1 October is valid for the next eight years which will see the extensive network of Western Isles and Clyde ferry operations remain in public hands.  

Customers travelling by ferry from the first day of the contract will also see a new 'operator mark' which has been produced to show that Caledonian MacBrayne is operated by CalMac Ferries Ltd. It will not replace the familiar iconic lion rampant heraldic device on ships but will be rolled out across the network in a variety places including on uniforms, on ships, in ports and in printed material, as part of a tender requirement set by Transport Scotland.

CalMac Managing Director Martin Dorchester said: "The new operator mark may seem a small change but it is symbolic of the positive changes we are bringing to the new contract, and will be worn and displayed with pride by everyone at CalMac."

He said: "The start of this contract marks the culmination of almost two years of hard work to develop and submit our bid for the new contract, and everyone at CalMac, and the communities who rely on our ferry services, who provided input and support, can be very proud of their achievement."

"Since the announcement in May and the formal signing of the new contract at the end of August we have been doing the ground work to convert our winning proposals into improvements which will transform the onboard travel experience for our customers over the life of the contract.

These include:

• Providing the most up to date customer information available

• Providing a modern ticketing system.

• Improving accessibility for customers.

• Improving integration with other modes of transport

• Investing £6 million to refresh the appearance of vessels and ports (see redevelopment of terminal at Brodick, Isle of Arann) 

He said: "Clearly some of these will take some time to work through, and the delay to signing the contract has also had an impact on progress, but some improvement are already well in hand, and our commitment to these is enshrined in the contract which is legally binding and will be closely managed by our client, Transport Scotland.

"After the years of uncertainty over our future I know everyone is looking forward to playing a part in this an exciting new chapter in the story of CalMac and these vitally important ferry services."

Published in Ferry

#TrafficGrowth - Two Irish Sea routes linking Belfast to English ports of Liverpool and Heysham operated by Stena Line have shown significant growth following their acquisition from DFDS five years ago. 

Since the £40m purchase in 2011, Stena Line’s carryings on the routes have gone steadily increased with approximately 1.3m guests, 370,000 cars and 1.45m freight units making the trip across the Irish Sea.

Freight volumes on the two routes since Stena Line took them over have increased by 37%*, with passenger numbers rising by 14.5%* and car traffic growing by 8.4%* during the same period.

Investment in the routes has been significant with more than £9 million spent since 2011 across all aspects of the service, including cabin improvements, upgrades to the truckers lounge, the introduction of premium Stena Plus lounges and quiet rooms, and an overhaul of the ships’ existing bar and restaurant facilities to bring them into line with the rest of the Stena Line fleet.

In addition, they have added extra capacity and frequency via the introduction of a fifth ship serving Birkenhead and Heysham. In 2013, the company added extra freight tonnage to the Liverpool service in the form of the Stena Hibernia which provided an extra eight trips per week, increasing capacity by 30.8% and bringing the total number of weekly sailings to 34 across both routes.

* Statistics are based on most recent full year figures (2015) vs last full year figures prior to acquisition (2010).

Published in Ferry

#NewbuildFerry - A new £6m double ended carferry for Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland as previously reported is due to enter service this autumn, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has established a project for the delivery of two ferries – one for the Ballycastle, Co. Antrim to Rathlin Island ferry launched last week by Arklow Marine Services. The second ferry is for the Strangford Lough Ferry Service, following a contract from the DFI for the 28 vehicle/260 passenger newbuild was awarded to Cammell Laird, Birkenhead.

When in service, the new ferry named MV Strangford II will alternate with MV Portaferry II to service the route between Strangford and Portaferry, Co. Down. The 10 minute service is operated on a half-hourly schedule.

The DFI has responded to Afloat.ie on what awaits the fate of MV Strangford (built in 1969 by Verolme Dockyard, Cork) and the passenger only MV Rachlyn. The DFI commented that they have engaged the Disposal Services Authority (DSA) to arrange disposal of both vessels, which will no longer be required when the new replacement ferry, Strangford II comes into operation.

The DSA has invited expressions of interest to arrive by 13 October and it is anticipated that the vessels will be sold later this year.

Published in Ferry

#VoteLegoFerry - A Scottish teenager, Luke Ball from Kilmarnock, has a dream to see his design of an iconic Calmac ferry produced in Lego.

Luke who turned 16 on Wednesday, writes Largs & Millport Weekly, has spent the last 18 months gathering support for his Lego version of CalMac’s Forth of Clyde ferry MV Loch Shira that serves between Largs and Isle of Cumbrae. 

His model design has so far gained a great following of 3,450 supporters on the Lego Ideas site – but to keep the dream alive the project must reach 5000 supporters before today's deadline of Friday 30th September for it to be considered for production.

Luke’s ferry design was inspired by happy family journeys on the Firth of Clyde and took him many hours to put together.

Without a final push and sudden rush of support, his design won’t make it onto the desks of the Lego executives.

You can help by supporting his design at https://ideas.lego.com/projects/99373

For more on the story, click here.

Published in Ferry

#ExtendedCharter - Irish Continental Group has announced today, following their statement issued on 2 June this year, the charter to Sealift LLC of the High Speed Craft "Westpac Express" for a further fixed period of 12 months to October 2017.

Sealift LLC in turn have chartered the Vessel to Military Sealift Command, a U.S government organisation. The charter is subject to usual US government procurement regulations.

The vessel was built in 2001 by Austal Ships, Australia. It has a gross tonnage of 8,403 tonne, passenger capacity of 900 and a car carrying capacity of 182 units.

Published in Ferry

#AwardResults - Seatruck Ferries, the Irish Sea's only operator dedicated to unaccompanied ro-ro freight, was last night piped by the post in a category at the Lloyds List Global Awards, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The ‘Company of the Year’ award went to French container operator CMA CGM. However, Seatruck were 'Highly Commended' by the judges at the event regarded as the 'Oscars' of the worldwide shipping industry.

Seatruck part of the Danish owned Clipper Group, this year celebrated its 20th anniversary. The freight ro-ro operator has a network of three routes: Dublin-Liverpool, Dublin-Heysham and Warrenpoint-Heysham and as reported only this month launched a new Dublin-Bristol route.

The Port of Bristol is a major hub for UK car imports and the new route provides manufacturers an alternative option to enter the Irish marketplace.

Afloat.ie has identified Portbury as the location used as part of the Port of Bristol that also operates Avonmouth. The vessel deployed can also be revealed as the Clipper Ranger (165 unit capacity) which operates the new service with a weekend round trip. Otherwise the ‘R’ class ro-ro would be left idle in between serving routine Dublin-Heysham sailings.

Published in Ferry

#FerryLaunched – A newbuild and that of a car ferry, which is rare in Irish shipbuilding, was launched at Arklow, Co. Wicklow yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 6 vehicle / 140 passenger ferry, Spirit of Rathlin was launched from Arklow Marine Services, which involved the Belfast registered newbuild hoisted off the quayside by a floating crane, Lara 1 and lowered into the River Avoca. The self-propelled crane barge was chartered to the the port for the operation and is more commonly known as the former Mersey Docks & Harbour Board's Mersey Mammoth.

Spectators lined the banks opposite North Quay, to witness the proud moment for the boatyard which was awarded the contract by Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure (DFI). The DFI is still in the process of evaluating the bids for tenderers as previously reported to operate the new Rathlin ferry between the island off Co. Antrim and Ballycastle.

Arklow Marine which is owned by the Tyrrell family, now in their fifth generation of running the marine engineering business synominous with Irish shipbuilding that can trace its origins to 1864. Among the most famous of vessels launched was the State's first custom built sail-training ship, the brigantine, Asgard II built in 1981. 

Asides car ferry building, the yard have also designed and constructed vessels including aluminium catamarans, amphibious vessels, trawlers, tugs, and workboats. They also carry out conversion, repair and refit work.

In more recent years AMS has branched out into specialist newbuilds for the offshore energy sector, with the completion of Wind Farm Service support vessels for the UK market. 

Published in Ferry

#NewStenaCEO - A new CEO has been appointed by Stena Line, the Swedish owned company which is one of Europe’s largest ferry operators with 35 ferries and 22 routes in northern Europe.

Deputy CEO Niclas Mårtensson assumed the position with his appointed today as CEO by Stena Line. The current CEO, Carl-Johan Hagman, will resume his position as Chairman of the Stena Line board and will also remain in the role as Head of Shipping at Stena AB.

Niclas Mårtensson has more than 10 years’ experience of working in different senior positions within Stena Line including Route Manager in Germany and Poland, COO and most recently as Deputy CEO.

“This appointment is a natural step in our development process. We are pleased that we have recruited a CEO internally who will be able to fully focus on realising the strategy,” said Carl-Johan Hagman.

“I’m really looking forward to the exciting challenge of, with our customers in mind, realising our journey towards a sustainable and digital company. The transportation needs of our freight and travel customers continue to increase and evolve and Stena Line, with its comprehensive European network, is well positioned to meet that demand in a sustainable way”, said Niclas Mårtensson.

Published in Ferry
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