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Displaying items by tag: PostBrexit

#ferries - As RTE reports here's something you don't hear everyday, especially from someone involved in the Irish transport industry.

"Brexit, we believe, will bring opportunities."

The man uttering these words is Glenn Carr, the general manager of Rosslare Europort.

It is the second busiest port in the country for 'roll on, roll off' freight. The busiest? Dublin Port. It is estimated that upwards of 85% of all road freight goes through the capital's port.

Glenn Carr is eager to point out though that Rosslare port is the closest, geographically speaking, to mainland Europe.

He says Rosslare is well positioned to provide a real alternative for the haulage industry and more trucks could potentially mean more sailings and more business.

We meet Glenn Carr just as the 4.15pm Cherbourg sailing arrived into port. Fifteen minutes later, out rolls the cargo, 56 passenger cars, and 60 freight trucks.

Last year, around 900,000 passengers and 120,000 trucks passed through, and many believe that the facility is being under-utilised.

For further reading on the south-east ferryport, click here.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - In an announcement today Brittany Ferries has said it is to charter a third brand new cruise-ferry to serve its long-haul routes. 

The newbuild to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), will be built at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in China and is due to join Brittany Ferries’ network in 2023.​ 

The news follows trading results for 2018 which includes Cork-Roscoff which saw an increase in both passengers and freight compared to last year.

As yet the unnamed ship will be chartered from Stena RoRo and will be built to the Swedish shipowner’s E-Flexer design. Its arrival will bring to three the number of E-Flexer class ships in Brittany Ferries’ fleet following the arrival of Galicia in 2021 and Salamanca in 2022.

The operator is also constructing another new ship, Honfleur, at the FSG shipyard in Flensburg Germany, for delivery expected in late 2019 (see related story on delay)

The charter agreement, which includes an option to purchase, represents the next step in a fleet renewal and investment programme worth around €550m. It will offer increased capacity and comfort for customers as well as employment of French seafarers.

Brittany Ferries is proud to be the largest employer of French seafarers and is committed to fleet renewal and a more sustainable future.

Like Salamanca and Honfleur, the new ship will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). It’s a fuel which presents major environmental advantages over conventional maritime fuels, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by around 20% and cutting sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate emissions to almost zero.

Brittany Ferries’ CEO Christophe Mathieu comments: “We’re delighted to be adding another E-Flexer class cruise-ferry to our fleet. These are environmentally-friendly, capacious and comfortable ships which perfectly suit to our long-haul services.

“The charter will continue our fleet renewal plans, marking the fourth brand new ship in five years. It signals our confidence in the demand for ferry travel post-Brexit and will help us meet the needs of our passenger and freight customers in the decades to come. It also clearly demonstrates our commitment to LNG as a fuel and, our ambition to operate one of the most modern, green and comfortable ferry fleets in the world.”

The three 42,200 tonne E-Flexer class ships will be amongst the biggest in Brittany Ferries’ fleet. Each will be 215 metres long with 3,000 garage lanemetres for freight vehicles, and capacity for around 1,000 passengers in 340 en-suite cabins.

Three passenger decks will contain a range of boutiques, restaurants, bars and cafes all decorated to offer a rich and inspiring Spanish style giving customers a colourful foretaste of Iberian landscapes, towns and culture as they sail.

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Brittany Ferries resumed service on the Cork-Roscoff seasonal route last week and has recently revealed passenger, freight and financial results for 2018.

According to figures revealed by Brittany Ferries, passengers using the Ireland-France route totalled 86,388 (2016-217) and 97,174 (2017-2018) an increase of 12.5%. In terms of freight vehicles 494 were carried in (2016-2017) and 1,059 were transported during 2017-2018 a significant increase of 114.4.%

The encouraging results across the ferry operator's network come despite the pound being worth around 15% less than it was two years ago. That has proved challenging for a company whose income is generated in pounds sterling, with a cost-base in euros. Further challenges have come from on-going Brexit uncertainty and the effect this is having on summer 2019 bookings.The ferry company carried 2.6 million passengers on all routes last year, an increase of 1.4%. It made a profit of €8 million on a total turnover of €442m.

Brittany Ferries is a French company. But its success is largely built on British customers. In total, 85% of passengers come from the UK. It has therefore used its 2018 results to reinforce an important message to French government: take urgent steps to ensure British holiday makers and freight move freely. The regions of north west France depend upon Brittany Ferries as a significant wealth generator.

On 7 March 2019 Jean-Marc Roué, Brittany Ferries’ president, hosted Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs. Showing him around Roscoff port and its facilities, Roué talked at length about border controls and customs, as well as health and sanitary checks for goods arriving in France.

“Jean-Yves Le Drian told us that Roscoff will become a border post on the 29th March 2019,” said Roué. “In my view, the return of a border between France and the United Kingdom fully legitimises the return of dedicated air and border police. These Police Aux Frontières (PAF) would work alongside customs services in the same way they currently do in ports like St. Malo, Cherbourg and Le Havre. It is only a short-term solution in the event of a hard Brexit, but I am counting on the Minister to relay this proposal to the Government”

Concerns in France come as planning to minimise traffic queues on the UK side intensifies. Portsmouth, for example, is Brittany Ferries’ UK-hub. Recent exercises led by the Local Resilience Forum suggest that carefully managed traffic solutions can prevent freight delays en-route to the port, should the UK leave the EU without a deal on March 29th.

“We made a profit in 2018 thanks to a combination of careful management and structural change,” added Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries. “Our positive results come despite the pound being worth significantly less than it was two years ago and as Brexit uncertainty weakens demand for trips to France and Spain this summer.

“We are now preparing for the years ahead. We have invested in three new ships and have made a clear commitment to the regions we serve. The challenge now is one for the French government in particular. All steps must be taken to ensure we have the right frameworks in place in Brittany and Normandy post-Brexit to keep goods flowing freely and to ensure our British passengers have the confidence to sail this summer and in the years to come.”

Brittany Ferries operates 11 routes linking the UK, France, Spain and Ireland with twelve ships, four of which are chartered. In the UK it operates services from Portsmouth to four destinations in France and two in northern Spain. From Poole it sails to Cherbourg and operates a freight-only service to Bilbao.

Plymouth has been linked to Roscoff since the company’s first sailing on 2 January 1973, the day after the UK joined the Common Market (forerunner to the EU). Today ferries also link Plymouth with northern Spain.

More than half a billion euros were spent by Brittany Ferries’ customers visiting France last year. There were 854,000 unique visitors, staying 9.2 million bed-nights. Brittany, Normandy and the Loire were the biggest regional winners. Brittany hosted 295,000 visitors generating €150m in wealth for the region. Normandy welcomed 219,000 guests who spent €78m; the Loire received 143,000 visitors who spent €78m, thanks to British customers.

Three new ships have been ordered post-Brexit, following an investment of €450m in the company’s future. Two of these ships will be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), a fuel that reduces sulphur and particulate emissions to almost zero and cuts average CO2 (carbon dioxide) output by around 20 per cent.

When the newbuild arrives at the end of the year, Honfleur will be the first ferry on the English Channel to be powered by LNG. As well as environmental credentials, the new ferry will also embody the company’s drive towards a digital future and ambition to reveal even more fabulous destinations around the coastlines of the European west.

Published in Ferry

#ShannonEstuary - The port of Shannon Foynes writes The Irish Times, could take any post-Brexit strain off Irish east coast ports should Border checks lead to congestion, its chief executive has said.

Pat Keating, chief executive of Shannon Foynes Port Company, said the country’s largest bulk port for non-container freight could take further capacity on completion of a general cargo terminal.

The State-owned company is investing more than €20 million converting 83 acres on the eastern side of the port for marine-related industry as part of a €64 million development plan.

As part of the expansion, the company plans to next year commence lift-on/lift-off operations of container freight that would allow it to take traffic from Dublin Port should Brexit congest freight traffic moving across the Irish Sea to UK ports.

To read much more click here. 

 

Published in Dublin Port

#Ports&Shipping - Associated British Ports (ABP) has announced a major expansion plan for two of its key operations at the North Sea Port of Immingham. 

Last year, ABP announced a £50 million investment for its container terminal offer across the Ports of Hull and Immingham, the first phase of which (amounting to around £14 million) saw the expansion of the Hull Container Terminal and the arrival of two (Irish manufactured) purpose-built gantry cranes to support its operations.

Following continued growth in container volumes across the two ports in 2017, a second phase of the £50 million investment has now begun and will see ABP spending £36 million on the container terminal in Immingham.

In addition to the container investment, ABP’s shipping customers are projecting significant growth in volumes they handle in the coming years. To meet the challenges of these projections, ABP has committed to investing a further £2.8 million in expanding the land and services available to support customer operations within the port.

In 2013, the Port of Immingham handled 68,000 container units, but by 2017 that number has grown to 183,000 units. The growth is, in part, due to the rise in the number of Regional Distribution Centres across the M1 / M62 corridor, which look to the Humber Ports as their gateway to trade.

A shift in trade volumes has also been noticed, with cargoes originally destined for ports such as Dover, moving increasingly north as trade partners look at alternatives to mitigate any difficulties the more traditional routes may experience in future. (Afloat adds, see related story: 'No Deal'-Brexit Scenario) 

The need for investment to keep up with growing demand has been clearly demonstrated. Within months, following the £14 million investment in ABP’s container offer in the Port of Hull last year, new regular container ship sailings with operators Samskip and I Motion between Hull and the ports of Amsterdam and Ghent were announced. ABP expects the latest investment in Immingham could support further growth in volumes of around 50% by 2020.

Simon Bird, Regional Director for ABP Humber said: “Trade through the Humber Ports remains buoyant and we are confident that this trend will continue as we invest in our infrastructure.

“The Humber Ports play a vital role as a gateway for trade across the North of England, the Midlands and beyond, and we are committed to seizing the opportunities that lay ahead of us. The Port of Immingham is already the biggest port in the country by tonnage, but signs are indicating that we have the potential to grow significantly in the coming years.”

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ports&Shipping - A post-Brexit new shipping route will see Ireland connected to Europe via the Netherlands and Belgium under EU contingency plans.

The European Commission reports The Independent has adopted a proposal which will see Dublin and Cork ports connected with Zeebrugge and Antwerp in Belgium and Rotterdam in the Netherlands - but does not include French ports.

The realignment of the EU's strategic transport corridor, the North Sea-Mediterranean route, is part of Europe's 'Brexit preparedness' measures.

The route has been redrawn as part of efforts to allow Irish trade a means of circumventing UK customs checks post-Brexit and to find alternatives to the land-bridge over Britain.

To read more including what Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has to say on the contungency plans, click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Ports&Shipping - At significant risk of isolation will be Ireland following Brexit and this will need EU funding to shore up the lack of connectivity to major European routes says the Port of Cork chief executive.

As the Irish Examiner writes, Brendan Keating says there was a case to be made for grant aid from EU institutions following the UK leaving the bloc.

“We will be significantly more isolated because of Brexit. I’m concerned about maritime transport connectivity. State aid rules as currently constituted don’t allow EU support of the purchase of ships or that kind of mobile asset, I believe.

“However, I do believe some kind of subvention can be issued to operators of such ships for such services.

“We have similar arrangements in terms of the servicing of regional airports of this country, to the public service obligations-type instruments.

For further comments and developments for the Port of Cork click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#NewsUpdate - A bridge connecting Northern Ireland and Scotland a top architect has said claimed could create a "Celtic powerhouse".

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Professor Alan Dunlop from Liverpool University said a road and rail crossing from Larne to Dumfries and Galloway would boost the Irish and Scottish economies, and help ease border pressures after Brexit.

Simon Hamilton: Plan for Irish Sea link worth exploring  "A bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland would be an excellent idea," he said.

Prof Dunlop's comments followed suggestions by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that a bridge linking England and France could be on the table.

In an interview with Scottish newspaper The National, Prof Dunlop stated that an Irish-Scottish suspension bridge would make more sense than one in the English Channel, which could cost as much as £120bn.

He said: "In terms of a crossing between Scotland and Northern Ireland, a Celtic Connection, the coastline between each country is more sheltered and the waterway better protected [than the English Channel].

"Crucially, the North Channel of the Irish Sea is not nearly as significant a shipping lane. To propose a bridge between Scotland and Ireland would in fact be a big step in actually creating a 'Celtic Powerhouse' and give politicians the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure of the true north."

Estimating a possible cost for an Irish-Scottish bridge, Prof Dunlop said it could be completed for between £15bn to £20bn.

To read more, click the newspaper link here.

Published in News Update

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