Irish Continental Group not affected by weak Sterling

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ICG published a trading update, covering carryings for the year to date to 11 November 2017.

  • Ro-Ro freight: 247,700 (246,500) =+0.5%
  • Cars: 385,100 (376,800) = +2.2%
  • Passengers: not included in the update.

Trading update with financial information for the first ten months of 2017.

  • Consolidated Group revenue: EUR 288.9 million = +3.1%
  • Ferries Division total revenues: EUR 184.4 million = +1.4%


  • In the period since 30 June carryings grew at 1.6% underperforming market growth rates as the division has focused on higher yielding accompanied freight traffic in advance of the introduction of the new ferry W.B. YEATS.
  • The Euro value of the division’s Sterling originating revenues have been affected by weaker Sterling but this has been partly mitigated by offsetting improvement from Sterling based costs.
  • Higher bunker costs.

Q3 Interim report: cargo keeps DFDS on track for record results

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  • Freight is pushing the DFDS figures to record levels, while the passenger volumes stay the same.
  • Strong performance for freight on North Sea routes: volumes up 8%
  • Revenue DKK 3,922 (3,799) +3.3%
  • EBITDA DKK 976 million (972 million) +0.4%
  • EBIT DKK 742 million (738 million) +0.5%
  • Profit before tax DKK 714 Million (732 million) -2.6%)
  • The Group’s revenue growth for 2017 is now expected to be around 3% compared to previously around 4%, excluding revenue from bunker surcharges.
  • At the Q&A session, DFDS CEO Niels Smedegaard said there were no plans for new cruise ferries. Current vessels can continue for 10 years if needed.

Strategic investment by Damen Shipyard Group

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Damen Shipyards Group has entered into a share purchase agreement with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) for the acquisition of its majority share in Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries, in Romania, on the Black Sea coast.
Damen already owns a shipyard in Romania, in Galati on the banks of the River Danube. It is currently the group’s largest shipyard.
The acquisition will provide Damen with capacity to cater for the largest maritime vessels and structures.

Viking Line’s operating income could be lower than in 2016

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In its revised earnings forecast for the 2017 financial year, Viking Line’s assessment is that operating income for 2017 will decline, compared to operating income for 2016.

The reasons are:

  • Pressure on passenger prices and volumes because of the competition.
  • Higher bunker prices.
  • The expected revision in Finland’s restitution law for 2017 has been delayed, and it is uncertain whether this can be carried out so that it will affect consolidated earnings for 2017.

Brøderna Aa to build more carbon-fibre ferries for tough Norwegian coast

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Nordland Fylkeskommune (=county) has ordered two fuel-efficient high-speed catamarans from Brødrene Aa, a contract worth NOK 200 million.
The carbon-fibre passenger-only vessels will be used on Bodø-Svolvær (Lofoten) and Bodø-Sandnessjøen routes, currently operated by Torghatten Nord.
Ownership of the crafts will be in the hands of the local authorities. An operator will be chosen by a tender process.
First vessel to be delivered in December 2018.

Photo © Brøderne Aa / Polarkonsult

HH Ferries Group: cargo traffic continued to grow in Q3

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Scandlines Helsingborg-Helsingör saw continued growth in cargo traffic, which made the management to decide to increase capacity by expanding ferry HAMLET’s sailing schedule by five hours daily as from December. The expansion will make it possible to transport an additional 40,000 trucks per year.


  • Number of departures 12,800 = status quo
  • Trucks: 102,600 (98,000) = +5%
  • Cars: 457,000 (473,000) = -3%
  • Passengers: 2.54 million (2.5 million) = -3%

In October, HH Ferries received the final authority approvals for TYCHO BRAHE’s charging stations. This ferry is already sailing in both battery and hybrid operations, while charging procedures are being adjusted.
The electrification of AURORA will follow before the turn of the year.

Photo © HH Ferries

One more Stena ship for Rotterdam – Harwich

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Stena Line has published its “Freight Facts 2018”. In this edition of Freight Facts, customers can find all the necessary information about Stena Line: route network, information about ships, crossing times, conditions and contact details.
Some North Sea routes will see a redeployment of ships.
CAROLINE RUSS will leave the Rotterdam-Killingholme route in January, being replaced by MISANA and MISIDA (owned by Stena RoRo).
STENA FORERUNNER will sail together with STENA SCOTIA on Rotterdam-Harwich as from January.

Elb-Link: standby for further, positive announcements

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Elb-Link Fährgesellschaft, the company which provided a ferry connection between Cuxhaven and Brunsbüttel, gave on its Facebook page an update on its state of affairs.
They wrote that, ” we are currently in intensive talks with politicians, banks and possible charterers with the aim of re-launching the service with a sustainable concept. The ferry service would resume before next spring. At this moment there are still some points that need to be discussed. Please give us some time, we will inform you in time.”
The company website says that, “The Elbe ferry does not currently operate due to a technical fault.”

Photo © Elb-Link


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Prison for captain and pilot of ro-ro ship with unusual bridge design

On 3 December 2015 the Panama registered pure car carrier CITY OF ROTTERDAM collided with the DFDS ro-ro PRIMULA SEAWAYS on the River Humber. Both vessels were damaged but made their way to Immingham without assistance.
Recently the captain and the pilot of the CITY OF ROTTERDAM have been sentenced to four months in prison.
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) concluded that the incident was due to the pilot’s loss of situational awareness and the bridge team’s failure to intervene, all exacerbated by an unusual bridge layout.

In a reaction, Don Cockrill, Secretary General at United Kingdom Maritime Pilots, has written an interesting article on LinkedIn where he explains why the legal process can overtake and compromise the advancement of maritime safety