- Total RoRo volumes in May 2021 were 31.2% above 2020 (and 4% above May 2019)
- The extraordinary volume growth in May 2021 vs 2020 reflected a recovery from the significant volume reductions in May 2020 caused by lockdowns.
- Volumes were above May 2019 in each of the four business units mainly carrying freight, i.e. North Sea, Baltic Sea, Channel and Mediterranean. Trading between the EU and the UK continued to be robust.
- The total number of passengers in May 2021 was 27.3% below 2020 reflecting the continued tight travel restrictions.
The work to establish a shore power facility at the DFDS Seaways ferry terminal in Copenhagen is in full swing. The initiative is a joint collaboration between CMP (Copenhagen Malmö Ports) and DFDS, with the Swedish company Actemium as contractor and COWI as technical advisor.
The facility is expected to be operational in late summer 2021 and will make it possible for DFDS’ ferries CROWN SEAWAYS and PEARL SEAWAYS to significantly reduce the ships’ CO2 emissions while in port.
Good News for Truckers: A Ferry Departure Every 36 Minutes
DFDS and P&O Ferries have entered into a mutual space charter agreement on the Dover-Calais ferry route.
Ferry Shipping News understands this has been under consideration for a long time.
Truck drivers will be able to board the next available sailing on the Dover-Calais route, regardless of which of the two companies is operating the crossing.
It will reduce the time drivers spend waiting at the ports, giving them access to a departure every 36 minutes and reducing gate-to-gate journey times by an estimated 30 minutes.
All commercial activities and relationships with freight customers remain entirely under the control of each operator. The Dover-Calais agreement is similar to space charter agreements entered into by DFDS on routes on the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and in the Mediterranean.
The new agreement is for freight vehicles only and does not apply to sailings on the DFDS Dover-Dunkerque route
DFDS operates three ropax ferries between Dover and Calais (and 3 on Dunkerque):
- COTE DES FLANDRES
- COTE DES DUNES
- CALAIS SEAWAYS (to be replaced by newbuilding COTE D’OPALE).
P&O Ferries operates five ropax ferries on Dover – Calais:
- SPIRIT OF BRITAIN
- SPIRIT OF FRANCE
- PRIDE OF CANTERBURY
- PRIDE OF KENT
- PRIDE OF BURGUNDY
The agreement is expected to start during the summer.
The Port of Dover has welcomed the announcement “as a powerful statement of returning focus to driving the unrivalled benefits of the Dover-Calais crossing: to preserve and maximise the unique advantages of high pace, frequency and capacity provided to supply chains on the shortest sea crossing between the UK and its principal global trading partner – the EU.” [Statement Port of Dover]
Ropax vessel CÔTE D’OPALE –the fifth E-Flexer vessel from the Chinese shipyard CMI Jinling (Weihai) – was delivered on 17 May 2021.
- The 214.5m ship will become the longest ferry operating in the English Channel
- Capacity: 3100 lane meters + 120 cars, 1000 passengers
- Long-term chartered by DFDS for Calais-Dover
- Fast recovery from Brexit transition
- Mediterranean continued its progress
- Passenger services remained restricted
- EBITDA increased 23% to DKK 750m
- The EBITDA outlook for 2021 was raised following stronger than expected freight results for most business units.
- Uncertainty remains high and significant changes to outlook assumptions may still occur in the rest of the
- During Q1 trade between the EU and UK stabilised faster than expected. Earnings in 2021 for UK-linked activities are therefore no longer expected to be below 2020.
- The Mediterranean business unit improved earnings more than expected in Q1 and the positive earnings trend is expected to continue.
- In the Baltic region, freight ferry capacity in the market is still expected to increase compared to 2020.
- Irish Ferries has announced a plan to deploy ropax(es) between Dover and Calais in June 2021.
- The EBITDA for passenger services was reduced by around DKK 1bn in 2020 due to travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19. It is assumed that around 25%, compared to previously around 40%, of the decrease in 2020 is regained in 2021 as travel restrictions are now expected to be eased later in The high season for ferry travel is Q3 and the outlook is thus especially sensitive to the scope of restrictions in this quarter.
The Group’s revenue is still expected to increase by 20-25% compared to 2020. The main growth drivers are the addition of HSF Logistics Group, the opening of the new route between Ireland and France and an increase in passenger volumes.
DFDS Awarded Tender To Operate New Duty-Free Shop In Calais
DFDS has since 1 January 2021, in accordance with the new Brexit trade agreement, offered duty-free sales on board its four ropax routes connecting the UK and the EU.
Following a tender, DFDS has been awarded the right to operate a new duty-free shore-based shop in the Port of Calais. The 1,000 m2 shop is expected to open in October 2021.
In the Dunkirk port terminal, operated by DFDS, a shore-based duty-free shop of 700 m2 is expected to open in July 2021. Both shops will provide convenient access for cars.
It is expected that the new shops will attract new travellers for day trips to the Hauts-de- France region once travel restrictions are eased.
DFDS expects to replace CALAIS SEAWAYS with COTE D’OPALE this summer on the Dover-Calais route. The new ferry will feature a 1,100 m2 duty-free shop.
- EBITDA outlook raised from DKK 3.0-3.5bn to DKK 3.2-3.6bn for 2021
- Reason: stronger than expected freight results in most business units. There was as anticipated a considerable slowdown in volumes linked to the UK in January following the UK stockbuilding in Q4 2020. Since then, volumes have recovered faster than expected.
- Uncertainty remains high and significant changes to outlook assumptions may still occur in the rest of the year.
DFDS and CLdN have sold ships to each other, and chartered them back.
- Ship: MELEQ renamed ACACIA SEAWAYS (Lithuania).
- Ownership: from CLdN to DFDS.
- Charter: ACACIA SEAWAYS has been chartered back for continued operation on CLdN’s Zeebrugge-Purfleet-Esbjerg route.
- Remark: she is a sistership of GARDENIA SEAWAYS and TULIPA SEAWAYS (Vlaardingen – Felixstowe)
- Ship: GOTHIA SEAWAYS renamed MAXINE (Isle of Man).
- Ownership: from DFDS to CLdN.
- Charter: MAXINE has been chartered back to DFDS for continued service in DFDS’ Baltic network during April-May and is expected to join DFDS’s new Calais – Sheerness freight-only service scheduled to commence on 1 June.
- Remark: She is one of the 3 Wagenborg vessels which were built for the StoraEnso Zeebrugge – Göteborg service. A company within the CLdN sphere owns sister vessel SOMERSET (operated by Stena Line).
- Ship: UNDINE renamed LIDER TRABZON.
- Ownership: from CLdN to unknown.
March 2021 (March 2020)
+11.8% freight lane metres: 3,975k (3,554k)
-77.5% passengers: 25k (112k)
Last twelve months
+0.7% freight lane metres: 41,062k (40,782k)
-79.8% passengers: 1,002k (4,963k)
- The positive market momentum in February continued in March for the North Sea and Mediterranean volumes.
- Volumes on the English Channel were above 2020.
- Volumes on the new route between Ireland and France continued above expectations.
- Baltic Sea volumes were above 2020 adjusted for the closure of the Paldiski-Hanko route.
- The volume growth in March 2021 was boosted by Covid-19’s negative impact on volumes in the last two weeks of March 2020. This effect was largest in the Mediterranean, North Sea and Channel business units.
- Passenger: the decrease reflects a continued negative impact from travel restrictions related to Covid-19.