Poole Harbour desperately needs a better connection with the M4 motorway

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Some Councils from the Dorset area in the South of England, which includes Poole and its harbour, have published a study, ‘South of England North-South Connectivity Prospectus.’

The authors of the study ask the ministers to include improved connections between the west of England and the north and southwest in the government’s next road investment strategy. According to the study there are not enough suitable connections between north and south in the strategic network covering large parts of southern England.

Before reaching the M4 motorway, trucks leaving the ferry in Poole need at least a two-hour drive, via the A350. Because of the congestion on this road, and on the A338, a large number of trucks are delayed.

The delays harm the local economy, say the authors of the study.

Source: Bournemouth Echo

New ferry terminal is good news for Aarhus citizens

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The Aarhus City Council has voted in favour of a new ferry terminal.

The new ferry terminal is to be built on the eastern side of the harbour, and should be ready by 2020. Mols Linjen’s current ferry terminal at Pier 3 will then be transformed into urban areas.

The move will considerably reduce the number of cars passing through the city.

The plans will now be sent for consultation and a final approval is expected in spring 2018.

Photo: in red the location of the future terminal. © Aarhus Kommune

Rescuing the Lübecker Hafen-Gesellschaft: still work to be done

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In a surprising move, 75% of Port of Lübeck’s (LHG) dockworkers rejected the collective agreement, needed for the rescue package of the Hanseatic port operator. The outcome of the vote was known on October 21.

The City of Lübeck was prepared to waive the EUR 17 million lease, if the workers accepted to do an equal effort. The city was also going to pay EUR 800,000 for the workers of the insolvent port company HBV (Hafenbetriebsvereins), which went bankrupt in 2016.

Although the union recommended voting in favour, the outcome is negative. The main reasons to say no were the lower wages, and especially the permanent requirement for flexible working hours.

Talks with the unions will resume in order to find a much needed solution.

Photo: Skandinavienkai,Travemünde © Mike Louagie

In the shadow of the Brexit, Brittany Ferries’ strategy of diversification has proven successful

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The latest Brittany Ferries report shows the first results after the Brexit referendum.

For the year 2016-2017, Brittany Ferries sees the following trends:

  • The cross-Channel passenger market is dropping (-5%), which is in contrast with the long routes to Ireland and Spain, which see a rise (+5%).
  • All routes together, passenger traffic is down 3%.
  • Freight is performing well, on all routes (+4%). For cross-Channel ferry services this means +2%, and for Spain +14%. The Motorways of the Seas between the UK and Spain has reached the symbolic level of 40,000 freight units.

In its analysis, Brittany Ferries found out that its faithful British repeat customers (members of the Club Voyage) continue to use the ferry services in the same numbers.

However, first time travellers seem to be less attracted by the ferry, and by France as a destination. Chairman Jean-Marc Roué calls for an unprecedented promotional campaign, to make France attractive to more people again.

The Brexit is a challenge, as well as the impact of the current low level of the British Pound, which will strongly impact Brittany Ferries’ future financial results, according to Mr Roué.

Jean-Marc Roué is happy with the strategy of the last ten years, where not all eggs have been put in one basket. The diversity of ferry routes and ships has proven to be the best recipe for stability.

Year 2016-2017 (2015-2016)

Pax cross-Channel: 1,958,000 (2,056,000)(-5%)

Pax long routes: 394,000 (376,000)(+5%)

Pax total: 2,352,000 (2,432,000)(-3%)

Freight units cross-Channel: 173,000 (169,000)(+2%)

Freight units long routes: 40,000 (35,000)(+14%)

Freigh units total: 213,000 (204,000)(+4%)

Photo: ETRETAT in Le Havre © Mike Louagie


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  • In France the national financial prosecutor’s office recently opened an investigation regarding the terms of takeover of the SNCM. Searches were carried out at the Office of Transport of Corsica and the companies of actors related to the purchase of SNCM. The prosecutor tries to understand what exactly happened when SNCM was taken over. More in particular, the question is why Corsica Linea promised to sell two ro-pax ferries –PAGLIA ORBA and MONTE D’ORO– for the price of EUR 10 million to the CTC (territorial collectivity of Corsica)
  • UECC’s ro-ro BORE BAY is being chartered by GNV for the Genova – Civitavecchia – Naples – Palermo – Malta service.
  • Intershipping charters ro-ro MAESTRO SUN for the Algeciras-Tanger Med route, replacing STENA CARRIER which is now working for CMA CGM. Intershipping also acquired double-ender VÄSTERVIK. She is going to be refurbished in Perama before going to the Strait of Gibraltar. Her new name will be MED STAR.
  • Lack of staff in the Port of Calais. That’s the reason for the conflict between the unions and the management, which started on September 25 with blockades and walkouts. During a normally scheduled meeting the management agreed with the finding of the unions, and will look at solutions. So far no further strikes are planned.
  • MOBY DADA and RHAPSODY are still on charter to the Spanish Government for the housing of police officers in Barcelona. MOBY DADA’s hull shows a big Tweety Pie, known from the Warner Bros. cartoons. In the meantime the yellow canary has become a symbol for the Catalan separatists, something that is not appreciated by Warner Bros. On social media you will find the hashtag  #FreePiolin. Piolin is the Spanish name for Tweety.

Ro-ro transport for 77 US Army helicopters

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Last week the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (Fort Hood, Texas) arrived in the Port of Zeebrugge with ARC’s ro-ro vessel ENDURANCE containing 77 helicopters.  The Chinooks, Blackhawks and Apaches were made flight-ready on the quays of one the ICO terminals (International Car Operators) in the inner harbour. In small groups they flew away to a base in Chièvres, before they’ll move to locations across the Continent as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Photo courtesy US Army
Video credit: Staff Sgt. Adrian Patoka

Watch the video here

A new long-term strategy for the Scottish ferry sector needed

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“Scotland’s ferries are in urgent need of a new long-term strategy despite public spending more than doubling since 2007/08,” is the conclusion of a report from Scotland’s spending watchdog Audit Scotland.

The report thinks that, “Transport Scotland does not know the full extent of future spending requirements on ferry services and assets, and it will find it difficult to provide these services within its allocated budget.”

Photo © Mike Louagie