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Issue 5 2014 - Freight Business Journal


MyFerryLink to be given notice to quit

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has confirmed its decision to ban Eurotunnel’s Dover/Calais MyFerryLink service. Channel tunnel shuttle operator Eurotunnel will be given six months to stop running services or find another, independent owner for the MyFerryLink business. Eurotunnel Group acquired

three ferries from bankrupt French state operator SeaFrance in 2012 and launched it under the MyFerryLink brand. Chairman of the Eurotunnel Remittal Group and CMA panel

deputy chair, Alasdair Smith, said: “With two of the operators on the Dover–Calais route making substantial losses...the current level of competition on the route is unsustainable and likely to lead to the exit of a competitor.” That would leave Eurotunnel as one of only two ferry operators in addition to owning the competing rail shuttle link, he said. Eurotunnel currently now has over half the market and its share will rise further if competitors exit. He

added: “We would not prevent Eurotunnel from finding Le Shuttle to boost freight

Eurotunnel broke ground on its Terminal 2015 project to increase truck capacity at its French and English terminals on 7 July. Chairman and CEO Jacques

Gounon, laid the first stone on the Coquelles

freight terminal

on a scheme that would boost capacity from 1.5 to 2 million trucks per year in the next ten years. The first phase will bring a

buffer parking zone, enabling rapid transit and an easier access to the check in area, which will

capacity by a third be increased from two lanes to five. The new layout will allow an increase from six departures per hour to eight. Onsite capacity will increase with the addition of a 370-place secure parking area alongside the Coquelles terminal. Infrastructure, mobility and services group Sanef will provide new technology to the new parking area. A similar project will shortly

begin in Folkestone, Kent, with extra access lanes and a new, enhanced check in plaza.

a suitable purchaser that was completely

independent of

Eurotunnel to operate the ferry service.” But Eurotunnel described the

CMA’s decision as “absurd”, adding that it could “only appeal such an unjust decision.” Chairman and CEO Jacques

Gounon, stated: “The decision by the CMA is a denial of the reality of the situation. It penalises the consumer and puts 600 people out of work without any real justification.” On 7 July, a car shuttle train

brought down the overhead wires in one bore of the Channel Tunnel,

forcing a large amount

of cross-Channel traffic to switch to the ferries. Eurotunnel said some 1,000 vehicles had been transferred to MyFerryLink, which put on extra services to cope with the additional traffic. “This is clear evidence,” it said, “that the recent decision by the CMA to ban MyFerryLink from operating out of Dover is contrary to the efficient management of such cross- Channel incidents.” However, P&O Ferries said that

the decision by the CMA was “in the interests of fair competition and the long-term interests of

freight customers who otherwise might have been faced with a dominant Eurotunnel in the cross- Channel market. MyFerryLink has gained a large share of the market by selling its services at below cost, which is unsustainable,” it said. Another rival cross-Channel

ferry operator, DFDS also welcomed the move. CEO Niels Smedegaard said: “We can now start to carry out our plans for the future. For the sake of all stakeholders, we hope the decision will be implemented as swiſtly as possible.” DFDS pointed out that there

are still a number of steps before the case is finally resolved. There is a four week period for lodging appeals to the Competition Appeal Tribunal on the issues addressed in the decision (jurisdiction and material change of circumstance) and the CMA must issue an implementation order for


decision to become effective. There will then be a four week consultation and a six month implementation period for closing down MyFerryLink, all of which could be affected by appeals. DFDS estimates that the

MyFerryLink would not close until the first quarter of 2015.

DFDS Logistics buys Quayside

DFDS Logistics has acquired Grimsby-headquartered


logistics specialist, Quayside Distribution. The company, which also has locations in Fort William, Bellshill, Avonmouth and Paignton, operates UK and European chilled and frozen services and was established in 1997 to meet the needs of the Humber fishing industry. It has now grown into one of the UK’s leading full load transporters of fresh and frozen goods. It employs 260 staff who, along with managing director Mick Wilkinson, are expected

to continue under the DFDS Logistics name. Quayside’s distribution

network and warehouse facilities will be added to DFDS Logistics’ activities and would bring many new opportunities and a geographically broader network

said the Danish

company. Executive vice president and head of DFDS Logistics, Eddie Green, said: “This will help us develop and provide the services that are crucial for our customers’ opportunities in the future, in a more demanding market.”

New chair and vice-chair for British Shippers’ Council

The British Shippers’ Council confirmed Gillian Scott as its new chairman and Barry Wallace as vice-chairman for 2014/15 at a meeting in London. Gillian Scott takes over from Roy Buſton of 3M UK and is import logistics and compliance manager for the John Lewis Partnership.

The British Shippers’

Council is one of the Freight Transport Association’s longest established groups, made up of members that have an interest in global shipping by sea, air road or rail services. Current membership includes many major UK high street retailers as well as manufacturers.

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