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Issue 5 2015 - Freight Business Journal


Eurotunnel to stay in the freight ferry business?

Eurotunnel is hoping to continue operating a limited water-borne freight ferry service even aſter its MyFerryLink arm has been sold to DFDS. If the regulators approve its plan, it would keep ownership if the 28-year-old Nord Pas de Calais freight-only ferry and acquire a sister ship to provide a limited service, aimed primarily at dangerous goods traffic that is barred from the Tunnel. It would also help keep freight moving at times when the

Tunnel (or other ferry services) are disrupted, or help to cater for peak flows. Unlike the MyFerryLink

service, which was operated by the SCOP workers’ cooperative, Eurotunnel would run the service directly. Whether it would be allowed to

depends mainly on the attitude of the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Eurotunnel would probably argue that its share market would be only 2%

and also that it was catering to a segment of the market not well- served by the other operators, who are limited in the amount and types of dangerous goods they can carry. A Eurotunnel spokesman said

in mid-July that the company still hoped to progress the plan but the strike by MyFerryLink personnel needed to be resolved and full ferry services out of Calais restarted before the question could be addressed.

P&O Ferries to offer service to Sweden

P&O Ferries is offering a service to Gothenburg following a link-up with Swedish Orient Line (SOL). Forwarders can now ship their freight from Tilbury and Teesport to Zeebrugge, connecting with the SOL Zeebrugge-Gothenburg service, which operates


days a week. SOL operates into the Stora terminal in Zeebrugge and P&O arranges shunting to and from its terminal with its own

tugmasters, giving a total voyage time of around 47-66 hours. Bookings can be made through SOL Continent Line’s booking systems. P&O Ferries commercial

director Janette Bell said: “With this cooperation we can add a strong Scandinavian dimension to our transport services. Access to Scandinavia from Southern England and the North of the

United Kingdom is now much improved and easily bookable.” SOL managing director Ragnar

Johansson, added: “By this, we can offer a convenient, frequent and fast access to and from the UK.”

In January 2013, P&O Ferries

announced a similar link-up with Transfennica to operate a connecting service from UK ports to Bilbao via Zeebrugge.

Brussels OK for OPDR deal

The European Commission has approved CMA CGM Group’s acquisition of short-sea operator OPDR. The Moroccan competition authorities have also given the deal the green light. OPDR,

currently part of the Bernhard Schulte Group operates between North Europe, the Canaries, Iberia and Morocco. It will become a subsidiary of CMA CGM’s existing MacAndrews short-sea arm.

Stena and Rotterdam to build second ferry berth

Stena Line and the Port of Rotterdam are to jointly to build a second berth at the Stena Line terminal at Europoort, as part of a €27 million investment. Work to develop the new 212m long, 6.30m draſt facility, will start shortly and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017. The current berth will then be renewed and both berths should be operational by 1 January, 2018 offering Stena Line much greater flexibility. Freight volumes between Rotterdam and the UK have

continued to grow and predictions for sustained future growth. Stena Line North Sea route manager, Annika Hult, said: “We are pleased with the development of the second berth in Rotterdam and of our

routes to Killingholme. We

Harwich and believe in

the future of Europoort as a strong freight hub on the North Sea and are committed to the development of the terminal as part of a long term investment plan. The second berth allows us to fully facilitate business

development long-term and to meet future customer demand.” Joyce Bliek, director

containers at Port of Rotterdam added: “This is a big investment and demonstrates the confidence in the ro ro market’s long-term development and the growing freight volumes to and from Rotterdam. The Port of Rotterdam is committed to enable a further growth; amongst others via developing additional rail capacity to strengthen the ro ro rail infrastructure.” Belelux report p34

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