DFDS Q3: Solid growth in demand

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  • Revenue increased 22% to DKK 4.4bn driven by higher freight activity in most business units.
  • Q3 passenger activity was overall below 2020 but picked up in the last month of the quarter.
  • The total freight EBITDA for ferry and logistics before special items increased 6% to DKK 795m driven mainly by strong growth in the Mediterranean business unit.
  • The total passenger EBITDA for passenger services in the Baltic Sea, Channel, and Passenger business units decreased DKK 43m or 45% to DKK 53m.
  • Total EBITDA of DKK 848m was on level with 2020.
  • Supply chain bottlenecks became more widespread in Europe during Q3, including a high level of impact in the UK. This entailed extra operating costs for both freight ferry, port terminal and logistics activities. In addition, freight volumes to the UK were for periods in Q3 capped which lowered utilisation on ferry routes.

Outlook 2021

  • The outlook for freight activities remains overall positive, although the current slowdown in UK trade flows is expected to continue in Q4 2021.
  • Passenger travel is expected to continue to pick up.
  • Revenue growth outlook is now expected at 23-25% (20-25%).
  • The EBITDA outlook range before special items is now expected at DKK 3.3-3.5bn compared to previously DKK 3.2-3.6bn (2020: DKK 2.7bn).
  • The outlook is detailed on page 10 in the full report.

DFDS October volume report: Freight lower as UK stockbuilding boosted volumes

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Total freight volumes in October 2021 were 7.6% below 2020. Net adjustments for structural route changes reduced growth 2.3 ppt to -9.9%.

The decrease in total volumes was due to lower volumes on UK routes compared to 2020 as stockbuilding in the UK ahead of Brexit started to boost volumes in October 2020.

In addition, the current supply chain bottlenecks have led to a slowdown in UK volumes as some importers and exporters temporarily capped volumes during the month to avoid further congestion of supply chains. Channel and North Sea volumes were thus below 2020 in October.

The Mediterranean business unit continued to carry volumes above 2020 while Baltic Sea volumes were below 2020 as capacity on one route was reduced from two ferries in 2020 to one ferry in October 2021.

Volumes for the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea business units were above 2019 in October 2021 while the supply chain bottlenecks impacting the UK decreased volumes in Channel and North Sea to below 2019.

SNCM is dead but its ghost continues to haunt the public authorities… and Corsica Ferries

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The Corsica executive council has decided not to include the fine of EUR 86.3 million in the 2021 supplementary budget of the Collectivité de Corse (CDC).

At the end of September, the CDC had been definitively ordered by the Council of State to pay EUR 86.3 million to Corsica Ferries, in compensation for the damage linked to the illegal subsidies of its former competitor SNCM, between 2007 and 2013.

CDC refuses to pay and wants the French State to take its responsibilities. To be continued…

Six companies selected to design a zero-emission fast ferry

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Six companies have received a contract to develop a high-speed zero-emission fast ferry: Eker Design, ESNA, LMG Marin, SES-X, Transportutvikling and Umoe.

The contract was signed on 5 November 2021 by the director for transport in Trøndelag (Norway).

In May 2023, the design part of the project will be completed. The goal is then to have developed a zero-emission fast ferry with a minimum of 30% lower energy consumption compared to today’s vessels.

The project is supported by Klimasats, a support scheme under the Norwegian Environment Agency for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Is the DFDS – P&O Ferries capacity sharing agreement distorting competition?

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United Kingdom’s CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) is investigating whether a capacity sharing agreement between P&O Ferries and DFDS, on the Dover-Calais route has potential to prevent, restrict or distort competition within the UK.

The investigation has been launched on 11 November 2021.

The P&O and DFDS freight space agreement commenced on 7 November. Drivers are allowed to embark on the next available ferry, either from DFDS or P&O.

If going with DFDS or P&O, truck drivers have a ferry every 37 minutes.

Competitor Irish Ferries will have a departure every 2 ½ hours, once the second ship enters the route. [FSN Week 45]

Another competitor is GetLink, the ‘tunnel’.

Back in 2013, the UK Competition Commission ruled that Eurotunnel, which leased the three MyFerryLink vessels to the SCOP, could no longer operate ferry services from Dover.

Reason: the proportion of the cross-Channel market that Eurotunnel held as a result.

In 2015 Eurotunnel sold ropax ferries RODIN and BERLIOZ to DFDS.

Name swap at Destination Gotland

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From week 47 to week 49, the LNG RoPax VISBORG will embark on a planned shipyard visit in Landskrona.

In connection with this, the ship will also change its name to VISBY. (Destination Gotland’s newest ships are always named VISBY and GOTLAND.

The older VISBY will have its new name in January 2022: VISBORG. She is actually on a charter to DFDS for the France-Ireland service.

Seajets’s Aqua Star will enter service from February 2022

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Towards a new career within the Hellenic Coastal Shipping is heading the Seajets’ AQUA STAR (former AZORES EXPRESS).

The ship is currently at Chalkis Shipyards undergoing some interior refit and she is expected to connect the port of Volos with Skiathos-Skopelos-Alonissos at the end of February 2022.

Seajets is investing in that line following its success on the Thessaloniki-Sporades-Evia line with HSC SUPERRUNNER JET last summer.

photo: Kostas Papadopoulos

Ignazio Messina’s deep-sea RoRo network now includes Koper in the North Adriatic

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Ignazio Messina & c. added the Slovenian port of Koper to its network of routes between Mediterranean basin, Africa and Middle East.

“We are excited to announce that Ignazio Messina & C. has set up a new weekly service, which will connect Koper with East and South Africa, Persian Gulf and India. Vessels can accept various roro and project cargoes” is written in a statement from the Slovenian port authority.

The local agent in Koper is Neptune International Shipping d.o.o.

More specifically Ferry Shipping News understands that Neptune’s vessel will transport cargo from and to Koper for Messina. The cargo will be transshipped in the Egyptian port of Alexandria for further sailing to and from the Indian Ocean

New train/ropax ferry IGINIA delivered to RFI for the Strait of Messina

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The new ropax ferry ordered by Rete Ferroviaria Italia (RFI) and built in Genoa at San Giorgio del Porto and T. Mariotti shipyards has been successfully delivered in the port of Messina.

The ferry, suitable for the transportation of railway carriages, wagons, passengers, and vehicles, will soon enter service in the Strait of Messina.

The hull of the new unit (equipped with engines, generators, propulsion machinery and systems) was built in Porto Nogaro by Cimar shipyard and then towed to Genoa.

This new ship is LNG-ready.

A tender for the construction of a sister unit was launched last August and is expected to be awarded before the end of this year.