P&O Ferries: promising results from its new fuel and energy efficiency initiative

By | 2024 Newsletter week 09 | No Comments

P&O Ferries cut almost 50,000 tons of carbon emissions from its operation in 2023 with the introduction of a new hybrid ferry and its new dedicated initiative to reduce fuel consumption – the Fleet Support Centre for Fuel and Energy Efficiency.

This follows a reduction of over 85,000 tons in 2022, achieved through partnerships with other operators to enable the company to sail less frequently – and other measures to improve the technical efficiency of its vessels.

P&O’s Fleet Support Centre, based at the company’s Dover headquarters, uses the latest SmartShip technology and fuel meters onboard each ferry. This gives the company a wealth of new data that can be used to track and reduce fuel and energy consumption. The ability to see granular data on fuel consumption for each route and vessel allows P&O Ferries to investigate any changes in consumption and see the result of efficiency efforts straight away.

The data also gives deep insight into the impact of different variables such as: the weather, operating system, method of operating the vessel and its schedule.

Since the rollout across the P&O Ferries’ fleet in recent months, the Fleet Support Centre’s new approach has reduced fuel consumption and related emissions on key routes during 2023, with further fuel reductions of 5% expected for 2024.

More details in the press release.

Photo: Simon Boulanger

P&O Ferries strengthens North Sea presence with new London – Rotterdam freight route

By | 2024 Newsletter week 02 | No Comments

P&O Ferries will open a new RoRo freight route in the North Sea, between London (Tilbury 2) and Rotterdam (Europoort), starting in March 2024.

This service will complement P&O Ferries’ existing Zeebrugge to London route together with strengthening its rail-connected hub in Rotterdam.

Peter Hebblethwaite, P&O Ferries’ CEO: “The opening of our new route between London and Rotterdam gives P&O Ferries a unique network in the North Sea. We now have five hubs: Hull, Teesport, Tilbury, Zeebrugge and Europoort, connecting the North East and South East of England with the Continent. We will offer our freight customers the earliest arrival on the Thames from Rotterdam, along with swift access to the M25 and terminal rail connections.”

“The opening of the London – Rotterdam route will mark another significant step in our business transformation and further contribute to the end-to-end logistics service offered by our parent company, DP World.”

The route will be served by the Dutch-flagged P&O Ferries vessel NORBANK, which until recently was serving on the Irish Sea, with a capacity of 125 freight units.

P&O Ferries will stop Liverpool-Dublin route

By | 2023 Newsletter week 34 | No Comments

P&O Ferries announced in a message that the Liverpool-Dublin route will be axed.

The company says that, earlier this year, the owner of our Liverpool site, Peel Ports, informed P&O that its current berth would no longer be available after the end of 2023.

P&O says it has been looking for solutions, but “no suitable alternative has been offered or found that would enable to maintain the current service into 2024.”

The company is now “beginning a consultation process with the employees affected by the intended closure of this service.”

NORBAY and NORBANK, which currently serve the Liverpool-Dublin route with 24 sailings per week, will be redeployed elsewhere on the P&O Ferries route network in the coming months.

Photo: Wikimedia 2013harry

Three-year extensions to key ship charters reinforce P&O Ferries’ commitment to North Sea routes

By | 2023 Newsletter week 27 | No Comments

P&O Ferries extended with 3 years the charter agreement with Bore Ltd on the RoRo vessels NORSKY and NORSTREAM, maintaining its presence on the Zeebrugge-Teesport and Zeebrugge-Tilbury routes for the long term.

P&O Ferries also reinforced its commitment to the Zeebrugge-Teesport route through a separate extension of the FINNPULP charter agreement with Finnlines. The RoRo vessel will continue serving the route on two midweek sailings a week.

P&O Ferries: new ships, less crossings

By | 2023 Newsletter week 2 | No Comments

Company P&O Ferries says it reduced its carbon footprint by 85,000 tons in 2022. The press release says the lion’s share of the reduction is attributable to the space charter agreement signed with DFDS 18 months ago.

For 2023, the space charter agreement with DFDS means that P&O Ferries will sail 9,000 times on the English Channel, down from 16,000 times in 2019, the last comparable year.

The agreement reduces 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.

This year, P&O Ferries will take delivery of two double-ended new super-ferries.

The company expects 7,000 les crossings than in 2019.

The press release does not say anything about the long strike (and less sailings) after so many seafarers were fired.

Some new ferries among the projects approved under the EUR 161 million Italian fleet renewal

By | 2023 Newsletter week 1 | No Comments

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €500 million Italian scheme to help companies in the maritime transport sector to acquire clean and zero-emission vessels, as well as to retrofit more polluting vessels. The measure contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the Commission’s European Green Deal and ‘Fit for 55′ package.

The scheme is aimed at encouraging shipping companies to replace existing vessels with low environmental performance, and to reduce the use of fossil-based fuels in the maritime transport sector. The scheme will support projects increasing the environmental performance and energy efficiency of vessels operating long, medium and short sea services for passenger, freight and combined transport, as well as of other vessels operating in Italian ports.

In particular, the aid will support the acquisition of clean and zero-emission vessels, including vessels powered by electricity and hydrogen, and the retrofitting of vessels.

The aid will take the form of direct grants. The maximum aid amount per beneficiary is 40% of the eligible costs, which may be increased up to 60% for small and medium-sized enterprises and to 45% for projects concerning zero-emission vessels.

Some of the approved projects are for still-to-be-ordered ships from the ferry companies Toremar, Maregiglio di Navigazione, Snav, Lauro.it and Bluferries.

P&O Ferries say goodbye to BORE SONG

By | 2023 Newsletter week 1 | No Comments

BORE SONG is no longer operating for P&O Ferries. She was chartered since 2011 and served the cross-Channel routes from Zeebrugge. She left Zeebrugge end of December 2022.

BORE SONG is now in the Baltic Sea, working together with her sister BORE SEA for Transfennica (Bore and Transfennica are companies owned by Dutch Spliethoff).

CMA (UK) secures offer of commitments from P&O Ferries and DFDS

By | 2022 Newsletter week 24 | No Comments

In November 2021, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into an agreement between ferry companies P&O Ferries and DFDS A/S. This agreement – known as a ‘capacity sharing agreement’ – provides a ‘turn up and go’ function for freight customers at the Dover and Calais ports, allowing them to take the next available ferry regardless of which of the 2 operators they booked with. The agreement aims to reduce journey times and congestion at ports for freight customers, while also providing broader potential benefits for supply bottlenecks and the wider economy.

While the CMA recognises the flexibility such an agreement allows, it is concerned that aspects of the companies’ arrangements could, if unaddressed, ultimately lead to higher prices and fewer sailings.

For example, when implementing this agreement, P&O and DFDS created a single schedule to space out the firms’ departures more evenly. However, as part of this, the companies also removed some journeys entirely from their schedule and documentation gathered by the CMA showed they planned to further reduce the number of sailings in the future. Such behaviour could lead to higher prices and less frequent journeys for both tourists and freight customers.

The CMA is also concerned that the agreement could encourage each company to cancel off-peak sailings at short notice because it will allow them to keep revenue from customers even if they travel on the other firm’s ferry. Such cancellations would cause disruption to freight and tourist customers on the busy Dover-Calais route and could also lead to higher prices.

In addition, the CMA believes the agreement has the potential to fix the amount of freight customers each firm carries in relation to the other. Fixing amounts in this way would likely reduce the companies’ incentives to compete for customers by offering lower prices and better service quality.

Following CMA intervention, the companies have proposed to commit to:

  • not agree with one another the number of sailings that each company operates
  • put strict limits on the number of sailings that they may cancel
  • amend the agreement to make clear that it does not fix the amount of freight customers that either company may carry

The CMA will now consult on the commitments offered, providing an opportunity for third parties to voice any thoughts or concerns. Any responses must be made by 5pm on 4 July 2022 and will be considered as the CMA reviews the commitments offered by P&O and DFDS.