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DFDS Expands Into the Med By Acquiring U.N. Ro-Ro

In a company announcement, DFDS says it acquires U.N. Ro-Ro, the Turkish operator of freight shipping routes in the Mediterranean, connecting Turkey with Italy and France.

This means a geographic expansion of the DFDS route network, with a considerable expansion in the Mediterranean.

DFDS is to acquire 98.8% from owners, the Turkish private equity firms Actera Group and Esas Holdings.

U.N. Ro-Ro is highly profitable, with an enterprise value of EUR 950 million.

“With the acquisition of U.N. Ro-Ro, we are expanding into one of Europe’s most attractive freight markets which is operationally similar to northern Europe. This gives us opportunity together with the existing strong management team to leverage our network, fleet, experience and skills to develop the business further while supporting the growth of U.N. Ro-Ro’s customers”, says Niels Smedegaard, CEO of DFDS.

The transaction is subject to approval by the Turkish, Austrian and German competition authorities as well as Italian authorities in relation to the transfer of the Trieste terminal as a strategic asset. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place in June 2018.

U.N. Ro-Ro operates five freight shipping routes in the Mediterranean between Turkey and EU: four routes connect to Italy (Trieste) and one to France (Toulon).

The routes carried 202,000 freight units in 2017.

By the end of 2017, U.N. Ro-Ro deployed 12 ro-ro ferries, all built by the Flensburg shipyard, where also some of DFDS’ ships are built.


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Boreal To Be Acquired By A Hong-Kong-Based Private Equity Fund

Everbright Overseas Infrastructure Investment Fund LP (EOIIF), a Private Equity Infrastructure Fund based in Hong Kong, has entered into an agreement to purchase 100% of the shares in Boreal Holding AS (Boreal).

The transaction is expected to be completed in April / May 2018.

Boreal is a big Norwegian company, operating busses and ferries, amongst others. The company’s structure, management and organization will remain unchanged.

Ever-growing Ekol Started A Sète – Zeebrugge Block Train

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Turkish Ekol Logistics is continuing to develop intermodal transport and offer environment-friendly solutions, by having more block-trains in Europe.

Right now Ekol has 48 dedicated block train trips per week.

It is developing the French port of Sète as main hub for the South European region. Therefore Ekol increased the number of ro-ro connections between France and Turkey to two per week, and the number of train connections between Sète and Paris to two per week as well.

Ekol also added a completely new train connection from Sète to Zeebrugge, Belgium. In this way the company can connect France, the Benelux, Sweden and the UK with South Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and Maghreb.

Alaa Jennane, the Director of Engineering Business Development of Ekol said that “our strategy is to have more and more block trains in Europe. We would also like to increase the ro-ro capacity in our network.”

It takes nearly 22 hours for the new Ekol train to connect Sète and Zeebrugge. It goes two times per week with the capacity of 44 units per train.

This train will substitute another one between Trieste and Zeebrugge, but it has a bigger capacity.

Islay, The “Queen Of The Hebrides”, Next To Get A New Ferry

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Islay, the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides (Scotland), will be next in line for a new ferry to support the island’s growing economy, Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf has pledged.

Transport Scotland officials are currently investigating the potential design of the new vessel with Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) and CalMac Ferries.


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Interferry Highlights Three Key Topics In Call For Conference Papers

Interferry has launched a call for papers on safety, security and the environment ahead of its 43rd annual conference taking place in Cancun, Mexico, this October.
CEO Mike Corrigan stresses: “The core themes of this year’s conference are issues of ever-increasing importance not just to the worldwide ferry industry but across society as a whole. We welcome papers from both within and outside the industry that can bring unique perspectives to these topics.”

Two keynote speakers have already been confirmed – Robin Silvester, president and CEO of industry-leading environmental sustainability pioneer the Port of Vancouver, and Mark Sutcliffe, director of the CSO Alliance of maritime company security officers. Interferry has also approached a multinational authority for a keynote presentation on global terrorism trends and the potential impact on ferry operations.

Interferry’s Domestic Safety Committee will present an update on its work focusing on improvements in the developing world. Papers are invited from suppliers with available safety-orientated technologies that could be implemented easily and cost-effectively in developing nations. In addition, the session will include a review of the association’s work regarding fire safety. Relevant suppliers are likewise invited to submit presentation proposals.

On environmental issues, Interferry is encouraging operator case studies on topics as hydrogen fuel, ballast water management, underwater ship noise, green initiatives addressing terminals, waters and marine life. In particular, Interferry wants shipbreaking to be a significant part of this agenda.

The call for papers has a deadline of May 8. Submissions should be sent to with a short biography of the speaker and a 300-word abstract on the proposed topic.


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VIKING GRACE Has Become The World’s First LNG/Wind Electric Propulsion Hybrid Ship

Viking Line’s VIKING GRACE was taken out of service for the installation of a Norsepower’s rotor sail. Watch the installation video.