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Port in Focus: Piraeus

Ferry Shipping News visited Port of Piraeus a few weeks ago and met with Mr. Nektarios Demenopoulos, Deputy Manager/Public & Investor Relations of the port. We talked about the ferry and roro traffic, cruise calls, the protection of the environment as well as the present and the future of the biggest Greek Port.


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Covid-19: Italian Ports are Open but International Ferry Links for Passengers Suspended

“Italian ports are fully operational with regular service to the national community and all their offices, including those devoted to controls, guaranteeing regularity of these activities”. That’s what Assoporti, the local association of port authorities, announced (10 March) following the Italian government’s new coronavirus quarantine measures.

Italy has about 10,000 confirmed cases and over 600 deaths from COVID-19 so far, and the government has instituted a strict nationwide lockdown in an attempt to limit the disease’s spread.

Despite ports being open, all the international ferry links to Croatia, Albania, Tunisia, Morocco and Malta have been suspended. Further countries may follow.

Those measures are heavily impacting shipping companies providing transport services for passengers such as Grandi Navi Veloci, Adria Ferries, Virtu Ferries ad CTN. Other groups such as Tirrenia, Grimaldi, Messina and others which are regularly working as roro and cargo ships, are not affected by the restrictions.

“The measures adopted by the Government in no way restrict the movement of goods in the country” Assoporti underlined.

Grandi Navi Veloci Ready to Convert One of its Vessels in Hospital Ship if Needed

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The MSC-controlled Grandi Navi Veloci is said to be ready to convert one or more of his vessels in hospital ships to face the Coronavirus emergency in Italy.

According to the local newspaper Il Secolo XIX the ferry company headed by Matteo Catani proposed to the local municipality and the Liguria region to convert and equip one of its vessels moored in Genoa for accommodating infected people or just persons in quarantine. The idea was also somehow supported and participated by the classification society Rina and would make possible to solve the problem of the lack of beds in the hospitals due to the emergency.

MSC Cruises also would be ready to offer the MSC OPERA (currently stopped in Genoa) for the same use which may be replicated also in some other ports in central and southern Italy if needed.

Update 12/3

A second project for a hotel ship is being considered for the port of Palermo by the Sicily Region.

Also Moby and Tirrenia said they could propose ships to be used as accommodation hotel or hospital.

Christophe Mathieu, CEO Brittany Ferries, Announces Completion of Condor Ferries Deal

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Brittany Ferries is now officially the part-owner of Condor Ferries. The deal, announced last year, had been subject to scrutiny by competition authorities. But following their green light at the end of January, and work to complete the transition in February, the sale has now been finalised.

“This is excellent news for Brittany Ferries, our new partners and for Condor Ferries,” said Christophe Mathieu, CEO Brittany Ferries. “We are committed to working closely in the months and years to come to ensure the best level of service to customers and support to our friends and colleagues in the Channel Islands. This will be business as usual for Condor, but within a new ownership structure.”

Brittany Ferries is the minority shareholder in the company. Last November, Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) and Brittany Ferries reached an agreement with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (“MIRA”) for the acquisition of 100 percent of Condor Ferries

Condor Ferries is an operator of lifeline freight and passenger ferry services. Each year, Condor Ferries carries approximately 1 million passengers, 200,000 passenger vehicles, and over 900,000 freight lane meters between Guernsey, Jersey, the United Kingdom, and the Port of St Malo in France.

P&O Ferries Launches Second Rail Line to Double Train Capacity at Its Europoort Hub

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P&O Ferries is doubling its rail capacity at Europoort with the launch of a second line into its terminal at the continental hub.

The 650-metre long track will complement P&O’s existing rail line and means that the integrated ferry and logistics company can handle up to four trains of either 36 trailers or 42 x 45 foot containers a day, comprising eight services to and from locations across Europe.

Janette Bell, CEO P&O Ferries, said: “This new rail capacity will help even more of our customers solve their supply chain challenges and make trade flow by utilizing the unrivalled combined assets of P&O Ferries and P&O Ferrymasters.”

“Customers will be able to move goods between Britain and Europe using P&O Ferrymasters rail services and take advantage of our integrated planning, scheduling and transport management systems which solve some of the most pressing challenges in logistics, especially transparency.”

“To connect with the UK market, we provide three sailings a week to Teesport and seven sailings a week to Hull, with a commitment to providing customers with the most reliable and cost efficient service possible. This initiative underlines our commitment to growth and going to places where our customers want us to go.”

EXPRESS 1 Must Be Able to Find Its Berth on Its Own

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Molslinjen’s high-speed catamaran EXPRESS1 is the first Danish ferry to be equipped with an auto-docking system.

The SmartDock system is supplied by Wärtsilä, who has developed the world’s first auto-docking system for commercial use.

The system is used by the Norwegian ferry FOLGEFONN.

The program behind the system is encoded with large amounts of data consisting of best practice from all the captains of MolsLinjen.


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Eckerö Group – Year-end Report for 2019


+2.9% passengers (€3.5 million)

+2.0% revenue (€238.6 million)

Operating profit, adjusted for sales gains, EUR 1.0 million (EUR 15.6 million)

Operating profit, including sales gains, EUR 1.0 million (EUR 16.3 million)

Profit for the financial period EUR 0.8 million (EUR 10.2 million)

Interest-bearing liabilities EUR 95.1 million (EUR 71.8 million)

Net debt of EUR 56.3 million (EUR 18.2 million)

Cash flow from business operations EUR 16.4 million (EUR 28.6 million)

In May, the group invested in a ro-pax vessel which was renamed FINBO CARGO. The ship was deployed on the Helsinki-Tallinn line at the end of June. During Q1 of 2020, FINBO CARGO will be docked to be upgraded to ice class 1A.

TRANSPORTER was purchased in the spring and put in April in traffic with DFDS as carrier.

The main reasons for the decrease in earnings are the dockings, deterioration in earnings in Birka Cruises, the weak krona as well as start-up of FINBO CARGO and strike effects.

Viking Line: Change in Business Performance Outlook for the Financial Year 2020

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Viking Line sent out this message: “As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), operating conditions in our markets have deteriorated significantly. It is still too soon to quantify the impact on results since there is great uncertainty regarding developments. Therefore, our earlier business performance outlook no longer applies.”

Jan Hanses, President and CEO


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International Chamber of Shipping Issues New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Shipping Industry

The International Chamber of Shipping has issued brand new guidance for the global shipping industry to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The comprehensive 22-page document has been produced in collaboration with prominent international bodies including:

The World Health Organization (WHO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

The International Maritime Health Association (IMHA)

Click on the cover to access the website.