By | 2020 Newsletter week 17 | No Comments

The Hellenic Coastal Shipping Urgently Needs Financial Support, Says XRTC

According to the recent XRTC study, the Hellenic Coastal Shipping will need a monthly financial support immediately – for as long as the crisis lasts – ranging from EUR 22 to 30 million, in order to face the unexpected consequences of Covid-19.


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Corsica Sardinia Ferries to Launch a New Savona – Golfo Aranci – Civitavecchia Summer Link

Corsica Sardinia Ferries announced on the website a new “all Italian” maritime service set to be offered from July 10 to September 14 and connecting Vado Ligure (Savona) with the Sardinian port of Golfo Aranci and Civitavecchia (Rome).

The new link from Savona will be overnight and served three days per week (on Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays) while the sailing from Civitavecchia will take place early in the morning on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. One of the Mega Express-class ferries will be deployed on this route.

Raoul Zanelli Bono, sales director of Corsica Sardinia Ferries, underlined that the new link “will be compliant with all the new rules which has been and will be introduced by health and maritime authorities in order to face Covid-19 emergency”.

Italy Launched Public Tenders to Charter Ro-Pax Units for Transporting and Accommodating Migrants

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The Italian transport ministry published an announcement inviting ferry companies to propose ro-pax units capable of hosting aboard migrants set to be quarantined upon arrival off the Italian coasts from North Africa. Last week Tirrenia-CIN’s ferry RAFFAELE RUBATTINO was already used to accommodate some 180 migrants saved from two NGO vessels (ALAN KURDI and AITA MARI).

The expressions of interest invitation is set to expire on next Friday April 24, at midnight, and ro-pax units proposed (either Italy or Eu-flagged) must have capacity enough to accommodate 250 migrants to be hosted in single cabins (except families). The garage must have instead at least 300 lane metres capacity. The value of the contract is EUR 1.2 million per month.

The Prefecture of Agrigento also launched another public tender, set to expire on Friday April 24 at 9 AM, in order to find ferry companies interested at serving a potential maritime transport service of migrant s from Lampedusa to Sicily (Porto Empedocle). In this case a ferry with at least a 50-passenger capacity is requested.

Greek Ferry Operators Tell the Minister of Shipping that the Money is not Enough

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On April 16, the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy decided to subsidize the Greek Ferry Companies with EUR 15 million in order to compensate them for their losses due to Covid-19.

However, the Greek Ship-owners Association for Passenger Ships (SEEN) sent a letter to the Minister, explaining why these funds are not enough for the sector. They agreed that this is a positive measure, but they firmly disagreed with the procedure (bureaucratic and unnecessary) as well as the amount of compensation provided which does not cover the actual costs of their ships.

According to SEEN the necessary compensation based on the routes which are obliged to perform today, is estimated at EUR 15 million per month, when the Ministry’s decision to compensate them on a monthly basis with EUR 7 million (EUR 8 million less per month). SEEN also noted that in the period 21/3 to 30/4, the costs of their ships after the deduction of the revenues are estimated at EUR 20 million while the Ministry’s Decision provided only EUR 1.6 million for the same period.

For that reason, they emphasized on the need for immediate and substantial support of the Hellenic Coastal Shipping in order to avoid the collapse of the sector underlying that the problem affects the Adriatic service as well.

In view of the above they asked from the Minister to take sufficient and substantial measures in order to support the Hellenic Coastal Lines as well as the International lines (Adriatic Service):

  • Compensation of the active ships based on their real expenses (minus the income), as these have already been notified by the Ferry Companies
  • Compensate the ferries for the period from March 21 to the date of conclusion of the new Public Service contracts according to the Decision of April 16, 2020
  • Compensation of the inactive ferries according to their actual costs
  • Increase of the subsidies of the services that are executed today with Public Service Contracts
  • Compensate also the Adriatic Service, as the lines between Greece and Italy are of great importance for the import and export trade of the country, offering valuable services.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company: Survey Findings Revealed ahead of Design of New Vessel

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A public survey revealed high levels of satisfaction with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, and created valuable input for the new vessel, to be designed and built over the next few years, to replace the services currently provided by conventional ferry, BEN-MY-CHREE.

Passengers would like to see a selection of lounges, a dedicated cafe area and more tables alongside standard seating, a wider choice of food and drink, more charging/plug-in points and improved toilets.

Stena Line Puts One More Vessel in Warm Lay-Up

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Due to the reduction of passengers caused by the ongoing pandemic, STENA VISION will be on standby from May 4 until further notice, in so-called “warm lay-up”.

The vessel will be replaced by the younger STENA BALTICA in the timetable.

STENA BALTICA is more freight-oriented than STENA VISION.

Operations on the Gdynia-Karlskrona route, especially when it comes to freight transport, will be supplemented by a third ship – STENA NORDICA – after his return from a charter agreement with the UK Ministry of Transport.

Currently, seven out of 38 vessels in the Stena Line connection network are excluded from use: fast ferry STENA CARISMA, ropax STENA DANICA, roro STENA FORECASTER, STENA FORERUNNER, ropax STENA LAGAN (presently in Turkey, Tersan shipyard), ropax SASSNITZ and roro HATCHE.

STENA SAGA, on the other hand, was transferred to Stena RoRo. (all ship names link to MarineTraffic)

Collective Redundancies for Tallink Latvija AS Employees

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 Tallink Grupp’s subsidiary Tallink Latvija AS has notified the Latvian Employment Agency and the group’s Latvian crew members and shore personnel that it is commencing a collective redundancies process involving around 550 Latvian employees. The process involves both crew members of the group’s Latvian flagged vessels ISABELLE and ROMANTIKA as well as the company’s Latvian shore personnel.

Tallink’s Riga-Stockholm route vessels Isabelle and Romantika have been suspended at the Port of Riga since mid-March due to the ongoing state of emergency and the established travel restrictions and there is currently no information on when the operation of the route is likely to be restored.  As per maritime regulations, both vessels currently have the minimum required level of technical crew onboard, but all other onboard employees have been at home for the last month with reduced salaries, paid by the company.


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A Solid DFDS Publishes Preliminary Q1 Figures

  • Preliminary Q1 revenue decreased 1% to DKK 3.8bn (mainly due to drop in passenger revenue) and preliminary EBITDA before special items decreased 10% to DKK 610m.
  • Around half of the decrease in EBITDA was related to lower passenger activity caused by Covid-19. The other half of the decrease was due to a negative Covid-19 impact on freight, increased earnings in the comparison period Q1 2019 from UK stockpiling ahead of Brexit and a lower result for special cargo logistics mainly due to one-off costs.
  • Current key priorities are to take care of employees’ and partners’ health and well-being, to preserve jobs and to continue to provide vital ferry and logistics services for our customers as well as contributing to keeping Europe’s transport infrastructure open for business.
  • DFDS has a solid financial position.
  • Suspension since mid-March of two routes, Copenhagen-Oslo and Amsterdam-Newcastle, with a large overweight of passengers vs freight.
  • Freight capacity reduced since end-March/beginning-April in remaining network of 20 ferry routes that predominantly carry freight. Capacity is reduced through lay-up of currently 12 of 50 ferries as well as other measures to reduce the number of sailings. All 20 routes continue to operate.
  • Channel and Baltic Sea passenger activity reduced to only essential travel. Reduced number of drivers per cabin in Baltic Sea.
  • Participation in government wage and fixed cost compensation programs to preserve affiliation with employees and mitigate financial impacts.
  • Around 2,200 employees so far sent on paid leave within such programs in areas with reduced activity.
  • Cost saving and postponement initiatives, including hiring freeze.
  • Reduction of investments targeting a reduction of around 20% of the investments of DKK 2.3bn planned for 2020.

Key risks

  • Reliability and continuity of operations are contingent on employee health and continued exemption of our operations from lock-down initiatives.
  • Passenger earnings in the high season — June-August — are at risk.
  • Lower activity in certain sectors may reduce freight volumes. The automotive sector is a key risk in this regard.

DFDS expects to publish its final Q1 statements on May 7.

Tallink: “We Will Cruise Again!”

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In a letter to the shareholders, Paavo Nõgene, Tallink’s Chairman of the Management Board explains the contrast between a highly successful year 2019, with the actual situation.

Some highlights:

  • a very successful financial year in 2019
  • Return to the pre-crisis levels of demand will be gradual
  • Active negotiation with lending banks, Estonian Government and other home market Governments
  • Scale down ship operating and maintenance costs as well as other costs of sales and overheads by postponing all the non-critical investments and purchases
  • No dividend