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IRISH SEA: Freight timings changed
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 00:00

Stena Adventurer arriving at Dublin.  Gordon HislipStena Adventurer arriving at Dublin. Gordon Hislip

Stena Line has adjusted the timetables of two vessels on its Irish Sea services following feedback from freight operators. Ro-pax ferry Stena Adventurer (2003/43,532gt), running on the Central Corridor between Dublin Port and Holyhead, now departs from Ireland at 2030 instead of 2115 on Sundays giving a 45 minutes earlier Monday arrival at the Anglesey port to assist hauliers making time sensitive morning deliveries.

On the Birkenhead-Belfast route, weekly services by freight ro-ro Stena Hibernia (1996/13,017gt) are starting with a 1500 departure from Northern Ireland on Mondays instead of the previous 0300 Tuesday sailing from the Mersey, again at the request of hauliers. The 1,680 lane meter Stena Hibernia, with accommodation for 12 drivers, joined the route in November 2013 to complement the 2005-built ro-pax sisters Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey with increased freight demand.

 

 
NORTH SEA: New contract for DFDS
Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:43

Britannia Seaways, one of the vessels on the DFDS Rotterdam-Felixstowe route.Britannia Seaways, one of the vessels on the DFDS Rotterdam-Felixstowe route.

DFDS Seaways has signed a new two-year contract with Scania for the transport of truck chassis on the Rotterdam Vlaardingen-Felixstowe freight route, which will represent revenue of more than €800,000 in 2014. The Swedish manufacturer produces the chassis in their largest factory in Zwolle, Holland and the contract, starting on 1 April, involves shipment of 75 units a week.

The new contract comes in addition to existing arrangements for shipments from Rotterdam to Felixstowe and Immingham, the two routes handling around 10,000 truck chassis per year, with Rotterdam- Felixstowe services now in the hands of sisters Britannia Seaways and Suecia Seaways, built In 2000 and 1999, and the smaller China-built Flandria Seaways (2000/13,073gt).

 

 
FERRY REGULATION: Call for competition changes
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:00

MyFerryLink has been at the centre of a competition dispute.MyFerryLink has been at the centre of a competition dispute.

With the UK Competition Commission still considering MyFerryLink’s appeal against last year’s decision to ban its vessels from using the Port of Dover, there are calls from Europe for the whole question of regulatory authorities to be investigated.

The number of competition bodies in the EU has risen from three in 1989 to a total of 30, which now represents around a quarter of 125 world bodies. But this is in an area with only seven per cent of the world’s population.

A report to the French authority says the consistency of competition decisions across Europe suffers from different legal interpretations, such as in the case of MyFerryLink, a British court annulling the decision of the UK Commission under the pretext that it was not a merger, but while confirming the positions of the authority’s analysis regarding competition issues.

 
TURKISH BREAKERS: Fleetwood trio go out together
Thursday, 27 March 2014 15:27

 The former Buffalo in her final operating guise as the Russian ferry Anna Marine. The former Buffalo in her final operating guise as the Russian ferry Anna Marine.

Three German-built ro-ro sisters which spent more than 30 years on Irish Sea freight services for P&O and later Stena Line before final spells with Russian operator Antship fittingly ended their days together after arriving at Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping during February.

They were built at the J.J. Seitas yard in Hamburg to a Stena AB order with delivery in 1975, but at an early stage hulls 555 and 556 were bought by P&O to launch a Pandoro service between Fleetwood’s newly opened ro-ro terminal and Larne, debuting as Bison and Buffalo. Yard no.557 went to the United Steamship Co for Australian service as Union Melbourne until joining Pandoro as Puma in 1978.

The trio were lengthened by 15m to 141m overall on the Tyne in the early 1980s, with Buffalo stretched by a further 15m in 1989, a year in which P&O Irish Sea branding was introduced. Then, in 1989, there were new names for the trio, with Bison becoming European Pioneer, Buffalo being renamed European Leader and Puma renamed European Seafarer.

 
ENGLISH CHANNEL: Seizure window missed
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 00:00

Ostend Spirit arriving at Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping.Ostend Spirit arriving at Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping.

Thanet Council missed a 30-minute window to seize the bankrupt TransEuropa Ferries’ chartered vessel Ostend Spirit in the Port of Ramsgate last year. One day later, TransEuropa suspended operations and on 25 April went into administration, owing the council £3.4 million in unpaid port fees.

The council had the right under the Harbours Act 1964 to detain any vessel at Ramsgate port in respect of unpaid charges. Legal advisers suggested that if such action was taken while Ostend Spirit was in port it would have caused TransEuropa to cease to trade.

Ostend Spirit, the former Pride of Calais (1987/26,443gt), was reclaimed by owners P&O and moved to Tilbury before sale for demolition at Aliaga, Turkey. A dramatic video on social media sites showed the vessel being driven up onto the beach in Turkey.

 

 
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