Strong performance from DFDS

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DFDS had fantastic results in the last quarter of 2017, and for the whole year. Especially noteworthy are the North Sea freight volumes, which went up 6%. The overall passenger volumes went up 1%.
For 2018, freight volumes, particularly un-accompanied units, are expected to grow on most routes. Passenger volumes are expected to be on level with 2017.
Some key figures:

  • Q4 Revenue increased 5% adjusted for non-comparable items. Reported revenue was DKK 3.5bn (+4%).
  • Q4 EBITDA before special items increased 12% to DKK 574m following higher earnings in both the Shipping and Logistics divisions.
  • Full-year revenue increased 4% adjusted for non-comparable items. Reported revenue was likewise up 4% to DKK 14.3bn.
  • Full-year EBITDA before special items increased 4% to DKK 2,702m.
  • Full-year profit before special items and tax increased 8% to DKK 1,727m.
  • Outlook 2018: the Group’s revenue is expected to increase around 2% in 2018. The outlook range for EBITDA before special items is DKK 2,650-2,850m (2017: DKK 2,702m). Investments are expected to amount to around DKK 1.1bn.


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Charging electric ferries in less than four minutes

As recently announced, C-Job Naval Architects got a contract for the concept design of a series of five sustainable car and passenger ferries assigned by the GVB Amsterdam. They will be the largest fully electric ro-ro vessels in the Netherlands. Especially the charging time of maximum four minutes is spectacular. This notably short charging period will be enough for the vessels to operate a 24/7 service with no overnight charging required.

First hydrogen-electric ferry to sail in NorwayFirst hydrogen-electric ferry to sail in Norway

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Boreal and Wärtsilä Ship Design have agreed to develop a hydrogen-powered ferry for the Hjelmeland-Skipavik-Nesvik stretch. The ferry will be the first in the world where the vessel will use hydrogen as a fuel.
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has been commissioned to announce a development contract for a hydrogen-powered ferry, which will be put into operation in 2021. The ferry service will be operated by two ferries, one being fully electric and the other hybrid hydrogen-electric with 50 percent of the hydrogen output.
Boreal has reserved the ship name HYDROGEN.

FINNSWAN to be deployed on Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär route

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The Finnlines fleet saw a reshuffle after the purchase of EUROPALINK, last week.
At the end of April, NORDLINK, already renamed FINNSWAN, will move from the Malmö–Travemünde route to the Naantali–Långnäs–Kapellskär route.
She will be one of the first ships of this cargo capacity (4,215 lane metres) to service the Finnlines customers.
Before, she will undergo refurbishment in the public areas.

Stena Line’s Belfast services deliver record year

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2017 marked another record trading year for Stena Line on its routes from Belfast to Cairnryan, Liverpool and Heysham.

  • Freight units: 514,000 (+3%)
  • Cars: 360,000 (+2.5%)
  • Passengers: over 1.5m (+2.5%)
  • Coach traffic delivered the biggest increase at 10.5% underscoring Belfast’s ongoing tourist boom.

Today Belfast represents Stena Line’s largest operational hub with seven ships providing up to 22 daily crossing options.
A further £500,000 will be invested in the upgrade of onboard passenger facilities this spring.

Photo: Stena Line

More passengers and more freight for Corsica in 2017

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  • ORTC (Observatoire Régional des Transports de la Corse) published the first statistics for the year 2017. Some highlights:
  • Total of ferry passengers: 4,144,614 (+2.1%)
  • Total of airborne passengers: 4,025,727 (+9.7%) from which 241,744 came with low-cost flights.
  • Several ports, both in Corsica and on the Continent saw a progression in passenger traffic. Ajaccio +5%, Bastia +2%, Marseille +8% (but Nice -9%), Genoa +14%.
  • The ferry port of Porto Vecchio and the airports of Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi and Figari have set new records.
  • On the ro-ro freight side, most ports saw an increase. Only Toulon, on mainland France, went down -8%. Marseille is the most important mainland French port for freight.
  • Corsica Linea is the biggest freight carrier, and saw month after month a steady increase. Second is La Meridionale, followed by Corsica Ferries.

All statistics can be found on the old-style (and in French) ORTC website under ‘publications’.

Photo: Mike Louagie


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Port of Marseille Fos set to build on 2017 growth

From the many 2017 figures from Port of Marseille Fos we highlight the ones relevant for the ferry industry.

  • An 11% increase in ro-ro volumes – led by 202,000 trailers on Corsica and North Africa trades.
  • Passenger carryings on Corsica and North Africa ferry services rose 7% to 1.2 million.
  • New project expenditure included €14.6m to enlarge the Marseille harbour area’s Passe Nord access for cruise and ferry vessels, a €2.5m ferry terminal upgrade and the €2.3m installation of an 800-tonne capacity project cargo ro-ro ramp in Fos – the largest in France.
  • Environmental initiatives, including further ‘cold ironing’ facilities for ferries, reduced port dues for ‘green’ vessels under the Environmental Ship Index and membership of the LNG Focus Group – following the MoU signed last July – under which major world ports are working to promote LNG as a marine fuel.

Oslo one step closer to a zero emission port

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The Swedish company Processkontroll Elektriska AB has been chosen to build the new shore power installation in the Port of Oslo.
Stena Line would like to connect its ferry STENA SAGA. However, to convert the veteran Stena is seeking subsidies from Enova SF, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Otherwise it is not economically sustainable.
On Tuesdays the ship is 10 hours in port. According to the company’s own calculations, the use of shore power every Tuesday will help reduce annual emissions by about seven tonnes of NOx and 300 tonnes of CO2.
Color Line already has two ships connected to shore power. Now the port hopes that DFDS will also opt for cold ironing for its cruise ferries.

Photo: Mike Louagie