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Displaying items by tag: P&O Ferries

Some 1,100 workers at P&O Ferries are to be made redundant as part of a plan to make the business “viable and sustainable”, the company said.

The proposal, reports the Irish Examiner, involves more than a quarter of the workforce losing their jobs.

A spokesman for P&O Ferries said: “Since the beginning of the crisis, P&O Ferries has been working with its stakeholders to address the impact of the loss of the passenger business.

“It is now clear that right-sizing the business is necessary to create a viable and sustainable P&O Ferries to get through Covid-19.

“Regrettably, therefore, due to the reduced number of vessels we are operating and the ongoing downturn in business, we are beginning consultation proceedings with a proposal to make around 1,100 of our colleagues redundant.”

Published in Ferry

Dubai based owner of P&O Ferries, reports BBC News, has said the UK government has been "slow" to react to the crisis facing vital supply routes.

The ferry company, which transports 15% of all goods in and out of the UK (incl Ireland), has applied for financial support to see it through the coronavirus lockdown.

The head of Dubai-based DP World told the BBC that P&O needs £257m in aid to avoid collapse and has applied to the UK government for £150m of that.

But Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said he has yet to get a response from the UK.

The DP World chairman and chief executive said: "P&O plays a vital role in the UK and thousands of jobs depend on this company. We have to be sure that when this is over we can bounce back and save these jobs.

"We have applied to the UK government to support the company to save the jobs of these people. The government has been slow. We need to safeguard these jobs - a lot of people's lives depends on this company."

As leisure passenger numbers have collapsed, moving freight only between the EU and the UK has become economically unviable. P&O has taken seven ships out of service (among them Pride of York according to the YorkshirePost).

As Afloat has previously reported P&O has also furloughed 1,400 workers, which will see the UK government paying 80% of their wages.

For further reading on the story click here. 

In addition Afloat reported on the operator's Dublin-Liverpool ropax freight ferry Norbay which was detained in the UK port over port fees which was resolved recently.

The Norbank along with sister Norbay still retain their 'Nor' prefix named as a legacy of North Sea Ferries which as alluded in the photo caption above became part of the present P&O Ferries connecting the UK with Ireland and continental Europe.  

Published in Ferry

A deadlock was today (yesterday) broken in a high-profile business bust-up which meant a detained ferry carrying key supplies back and forth across the Irish Sea (to Dublin Port) could leave Liverpool.

Top level talks have been ongoing since Thursday when the Liverpool Echo exclusively revealed how the Norbay, a P&O Ferries vessel was stranded in Seaforth.

It followed a dispute with Peel Ports, who own and administer the dock facilities of the Port of Liverpool, and who demanded a cheque for nearly £600,000 of what they claimed were outstanding fees.

P&O disagreed with that figure, believed it was two thirds that amount, and asked for flexibility to pay the bill at a time when they are losing many tens of thousands pounds a day in revenue due to the global pandemic lockdown.

The shipping company also added that their key contact at The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company had been furloughed without their knowledge, interrupting their communications.

Now, an agreement has been reached, allowing the Norbay to set sail for Ireland within the next few hours (last night), if necessary.

Afloat tracked this morning the Norbay which departed Dublin Port and is currently returning to Liverpool and from where Norbank is bound in the opposite direction.

Also tracked departing Dublin but on Sunday was the Norbank which arrived yesterday morning to the north Wales Port of Mostyn to carry out berthing trials as the Echo also reported that the company had hastily tried to pursue an alternative port.

At the Flintshire port was the pilot cutter Patrica in proximity of the ferry's berthing on the Dee Estuary where a predecessor P&O (Irish Sea) inaugurated a service to Dublin Port in 2002 but which only lasted for two years. 

On the opposite side of the estuary is the Wirral Peninula in England and beyond the Mersey estuary where Norbay since Thursday of last week had remained detained in Liverpool until last night's sailing to the Irish capital. 

Published in Ferry

Under way are efforts to re-route two P&O ferries stranded at Dublin Port amid an ongoing stand-off between the company and the Port of Liverpool.

As RTE News reports, the impasse arose on Thursday when Peel Ports, the owner of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, prevented a Dublin-bound P&O ferry (Norbay) leaving the Port of Liverpool over a £600,000 payment.

On this side of the Irish Sea, two freight ferries - one owned by P&O and the other chartered by the company - were unable to set sail for Liverpool because of the row.

The P&O-owned vessel in Dublin - the Norbank - was fully loaded and ready to depart when the incident unfolded in Liverpool.

It is understood negotiations took place between P&O and Dublin Port authorities through yesterday over the issue.

It is further understood P&O now intends to land the ferries at another port location in the north west of England and operate its Dublin service out of that facility until the situation at the Port of Liverpool is resolved.

To read more on this Irish Sea ferry development click here.

Published in Ferry

Operator P&O Ferries has announced “a significant strategic shift to reprioritise its efforts on its freight operations and maintain the flow of goods, including medical supplies, between the UK and Europe”.

The moves involve the ferry company “furloughing” 1,100 staff on the key Dover-Calais route as it suspends its passenger business – which has seen a huge drop in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and focusing all of its efforts on maintaining the flow of freight to and from the UK.

Janette Bell, Chief Executive Officer of P&O Ferries, said: “Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are all grappling with an issue of enormous scale and human impact. P&O Ferries is having to respond with new measures to keep the business operational and to keep freight moving, which is vital to the economies of the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and the wider EU.

For more reports Lloyd's Loading List here. 

On the Ireland-UK region, Afloat adds the operator has two routes: Dublin-Liverpool and Larne-Cairnryan in Scotland.

Published in Ferry
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Operator P&O Ferries is seeking almost £33m in damages from the UK government over its handling of a challenge to ferry contracts under a no-deal Brexit.

The British-based shipping company, BBC reports, also wants courts to cancel the Department for Transport's settlement with Eurotunnel, and impose civil penalties.

In March, the DfT agreed to pay £33m to Eurotunnel, after the cross-channel operator sued for not being considered for a no-deal Brexit freight contract.

The DfT said it acted appropriately.

"This cross-government decision helped protect vital freight capacity for medical supplies to enter the country, in the event the UK left the EU without a deal," a spokesperson said.

As part of the agreement with Eurotunnel, the French company was mandated to spend £33m of taxpayers' money on improvements to the infrastructure of its terminal in Folkestone.

To read more including 'Mininum Disruption' at UK borders click here.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - A North Channel ferry operator has said that it will stop carrying calves to Europe after animal welfare concerns were raised by a BBC Scotland investigation.

According to BBC News Scotland, P&O said it was ending the practice with immediate effect following the broadcast on Monday of "Disclosure: The Dark Side of Dairy".

The Scottish government said it was concerned at P&O's reaction.

NFU Scotland said it was a "disappointing" decision and described the documentary as "sensationalised".

About 5,000 calves were shipped to Europe last year from Scotland.

Campaigners claim the long journey is harmful but the industry said the alternative was shooting them at birth.

Male calves are surplus to requirements on dairy farms.

Disclosure: The Dark Side of Dairy was broadcast on BBC One Scotland on 10 September and is available on the BBC iplayer

The Disclosure team learned that calves were being exported via the port of Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway.

For much more on the story, click here including a link to the television investigation. 

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - Stena RoRo's charter of a vessel to P&O Ferries Dublin-Liverpool route ended at the weekend following the return of European Endeavour fresh from annual refit, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The charter of Stena Carrier to rivals, P&O was expected to terminate tomorrow, however the ro-ro freight ferry Stena Carrier completed duties earlier with a passage from Liverpool to Dublin on Sunday morning. Following discharging of vehicles, the ship proceeded to anchor in Dublin Bay also that morning (and remains so off Dun Laoghaire Harbour). Afloat awaits the next charter possibly on the North Channel? 

Also on Sunday, as alluded P&O's European Endeavour, the largest of three ferries on the Liverpool route, arrived into Dublin Bay fresh from overhaul carried out at A&P Falmouth, Cornwall.

Upon arrival in Dublin Port, European Endeavour, remained in port for a scheduled Sunday layover. A first post-refit sailing departed yesterday albeit some two hours late. The returning sailing from Liverpool in comparison arrived on time to Dublin this morning. Several hours later at 15.00 the ferry departed on schedule with an arrival on Merseyside tonight at around 23.00.

Afloat will have more on the 24,046 gross tonnage, European Endeavour, in the meantime, the focus remains on Stena Carrier which in February provided a replacement vessel out of Rosslare. On that occasion, Stena Line required the services of the charter company, part of the Stena Sphere of companies, that is based in Gothenburg. The west Swedish city is where ferry company is also located.

Some principle characteristics of Stena Carrier (below) of the '4runner' class built. Among them, leadship Stena Forerunner which operates the ferry division's North Sea route: Harwich-Rotterdam (where CLdN's ro-ro recently christened Celine calls to as part of an Ireland-Belgium-UK-Netherlands route diagram).

Stena Carrier

Flag: Denmark
Port of Registry: Frederikshavn
Built: 2004
Gross Tonnage: 21,171
Deadweight: 11,783
Drivers: 12
Lane meters: 2,715
Length Overall: 182.77m
Breath Extreme: 25.50m
Draught: 6.10m

As alluded above the stint on Stena Line's Rosslare-Cherbourg service saw Stena Carrier continue in a freight-only mode (notably with livestock, estimated to be 35,000 cattle) while ropax Stena Horizon was routinely drydocked.

At that stage no passenger services were operating between the countries, except for Irish Ferries ropax Epsilon on the Dublin-Cherbourg route.

There is much anticipation of newbuild cruiseferry, W.B. Yeats onto the capital-continental connection. The 55,000 gross tonnage cruiseferry is encountering delays at the German yard of FSG, Flensburg and is not expected to enter service until late July as widely reported in the media.

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - A Louth based events company is riding on crest of a wave after being hand-picked to work in partnership with P&O Ferries on an exciting new venture.

As the Louth Leader reports the company First Media will be working alongside the ferry firm who will be offering an unique venue for events on board P&O’s very own Pride of Hull and Pride of Rotterdam ferries. The sisters Afloat adds are among the largest ferries operating out of the UK. They serve the North Sea service connecting Hull and the giant Dutch port.

Whether you’re looking for a place to host a corporate event, training day or meetings, First Media is all aboard to provide the event management, design, and technical support.

Freddie King, business development manager at First Media said: “This is a very exciting new venture for us and we are looking forward to working with the P&O team.

To read more from the local newspaper click here.

Afloat also adds that P&O operate a second route on the North Sea, Hull-Zeebrugge in Belgium. Last month the ferry firm commented that they are “always looking for new opportunities” of opening a new Scotland-Scandinavian service.

Currently the only ferry link (albeit freight-only) between the UK and Europe is from Rosyth, Scotland to Zeebrugge. This route is run by DFDS.  

Published in Ferry

#FerryNews - The highest volume of freight traffic in six years was carried on P&O Ferries Larne-Cairnryan service during 2017.

The ferry and logistics company, which operates between Northern Ireland and Scotland, carried 210,533 lorries and trailers on its ships during the last 12 months. The figure represents a 1.3 per cent increase on 2016 and is the best result since 2011.

P&O Ferries operates seven sailings a day between Larne and Cairnryan. The service on the North Channel is operated by the 22,000 ton sister ships European Highlander and European Causeway. The pair provide a bridge for goods being transported between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and Britain, and also on to the continent via P&O Ferries' connecting services from Dover, Tilbury, Hull and Teesport.

Neal Mernock, P&O Ferries' Sector Director for the Irish Sea, said: "These outstanding volumes illustrate the vital importance of our service to the thousands of businesses and millions of consumers who rely on the efficient and reliable transportation of goods across the Irish Sea."

"Larne is fast establishing itself as the gateway of choice for anyone exporting to or from Ireland, thanks to its outstanding connectivity via road and rail, and also the fact that it is nine miles closer to Scotland than the port at Belfast."

"The reliability of our service was exemplified in the spring when we brought one of our English Channel ferries, European Seaway, to cover the route while the other two ships went into dry dock for annual maintenance. The feedback from our customers was that they hadn't noticed any difference, which is the ultimate compliment."

In 2017 P&O Ferries saw strong volumes of agricultural and dairy produce, building materials, consumer goods, machinery, peat and household coal being transported on its two Irish Sea crossings, Larne-Cairnryan and Dublin-Liverpool, see Afloat's related coverage.

P&O Ferries is a leading pan-European ferry and logistics company, sailing 27,000 times a year on eight major routes between Britain, France, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium. It operates more than 20 vessels which carry 10 million passengers and 2.2 million freight units annually.

Together with its logistics division, P&O Ferrymasters, the company also operates integrated road and rail links to countries across the continent including Italy, Poland, Germany, Spain and Romania. P&O Ferrymasters also owns a rail terminal in the Romanian city of Oradea, which facilitates the onward movement of goods to Britain from Asian countries via the Silk Road.

Afloat adds the operator is also examining opening a North Sea service linking Scotland and Scandinavia.

Published in Ferry
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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