DFDS Opens New Unaccompanied Freight Route Between Calais And Sheerness

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DFDS is opening a new route between Calais and Sheerness in response to increasing demand for additional ferry capacity for unaccompanied freight between France and the UK.

  • 1st departure is planned for 1 June 2021
  • 1 daily round trip operating 7/7
  • 1 roro ship: GOTHIA SEAWAYS (160 trailers)
  • Sheerness is located around 70km north of Dover and thus closer to the London area
  • Most of the unaccompanied freight carried today by DFDS ropaxes on Dover-Calais and Dover-Dunkirk, is expected to be transferred to the new route
  • In combination with the rail infrastructure in Calais, the market for rail solutions for freight from Italy, Spain and southern France to the UK is it expected to grow
  • Also: intermodal transport solution between Turkey and the UK by combining the freight ferry route to Sète with rail transport to Calais

Remarks

During Q4, 2019, P&O Ferries tried a roro service between Calais and Tilbury, with CAROLINE RUSS. The route was discontinued because of low customer demand and the impact of a French strike action.

In December 2020, P&O Ferries stopped carrying no-accompanied trucks on Calais-Dover.

Comments

Jean-Claude Charlo (MD, DFDS France) says in an interview to the newspaper Nord Littoral, the following:

  • DFDS took over a part of the unaccompanied traffic from P&O, after the latter announced to do accompanied only. End of February the DFDS Calais-Dover route carried 5,000 non-accompanied trailers (against 1200 same period last year).
  • Biggest issue was that time in port could not be increased, hence the decision to open a new roro service to Sheerness.
  • Theoretically non-accompanied could increase because of lack of drivers.
  • DFDS new E-Flexer COTE D’OPALE will have sea-trials on April 12. The interior finishing of the ship will be done in Europe.

Attica Group in 2020: Positive EBITDA Despite Pandemic

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  • -53% pax, -14% cargo units
  • -28% revenue, a reduction by €115m
  • -48% EBITDA, but still positive
  • -27% sailings, but maintaining the lifeline services to the islands without interruption
  • Strategy: containing costs to safeguard the Group’s liquidity whilst maximising utilisation of Government support measures against the adverse impacts of the pandemic
  • New investments in line with the group’s sustainability strategy enabled by its solid financial position: 3 passenger ferries to be built in Norway

Grimaldi Group Strengthens Its Presence In Malta

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In recent months, Grimaldi Group has proceeded to significantly strengthen its presence in Malta:

  • Brexit: switching flag of ACL ships from UK to Malta (9 done, 1 to follow).
  • Malta Motorways of the Sea Ltd (MMOS), a Grimaldi Group company, has recently strengthened its fleet with the purchase of two additional vessels: roro’s EUROCARGO CATANIA and EUROCARGO SICILIA. (total fleet MMOS = 6 ships – see the fleet here).
  • MMOS runs a regular service from Genoa, Livorno, Salerno and Catania to Malta (and vice versa), under a Public Service Obligation contract with the Maltese Government.
  • This April, Malta is due to be served with one of the brand new 12 GG5G-class roro’s.
  • A second vessel of the same class will be deployed on the same route at the beginning of June.

EUROCARGO NAPOLI’s Sale To Morocco Cruise Line Put On Hold

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Some sources revealed to Ferry Shipping News that the sale of the roro ship EUROCARO NAPOLI from Grimaldi Group to the start-up company Morocco Cruise Line (MCL.ma) failed. At least up to date.

The vessel in question recently sailed to Motril, port of delivery, but this week went back to Valencia and is likely to be introduced in Grimaldi Napoli’s network of routes unless the buyer decides to finalise the deal, paying the full price. A 10% account was already paid earlier this year.

MCL was expected to open two new lines: Tangier Med – Motril and Tangier Med – Sète.

EUROCARGO NAPOLI: 175m / 18.5 knots / 1,940 lane metres / cars 400

IN THE MEDIA

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According to the Greek Kathimerini Newspaper, the Greek government will include funding -through the country’s Recovery Fund Plan- for the reduction of CO2 emissions in coastal shipping. (€300 million)

  • investments to reduce the CO2 footprint in passenger shipping
  • capture and storage of carbon dioxide and adjacent technology

More than 50% of the funding, will be accompanied by the possibility of a similar loan facility and will be used for the (LNG) reengining of the most recent Greek ropax ferries.

Brittany Ferries Looking For Financial Solutions

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Brittany Ferries retains a “significant” cash flow. “We are not in suspension of payments,” underlines president Jean-Marc Roué. But he mentions a need for equity “some 50 million euros”. He said the historic shareholder of Brittany Ferries, Sica de Saint-Pol-de-Léon, a cooperative of vegetable producers, is unable to recapitalize the business.

Prospective partners are public banks such as Bpifrance, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations or the Banque des Territoires. “However, the historic shareholders must retain the majority”, specifies Jean-Marc Roué.

Brittany Ferries: “No Dry Layoffs Over The Next Three Years” According To The CGT Union

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The union says it has signed the long-term partial activity agreement, which is supposed to help the Breton company through this difficult period. According to the CGT, it should preserve permanent employment.

The leading employer of French sailors, Brittany Ferries employs 2,474 employees, including 1,600 seafarers (in full-time equivalents).