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PELICAN: Brittany Ferries launch new freight service between Poole and Bilbao

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Brittany Ferries to launch new Poole-Bilbao freight service

 

Brittany Ferries has chartered a vessel to carry freight between Poole and Bilbao, in northern Spain. A pure RoRo craft, Pelican has the capacity for around one hundred unaccompanied trailers and twelve drivers and will begin service with the company in early February.

 

She comes from shipping company Maritime Nantaise and will operate two round-trips per week. The charter, which includes crew, is for twelve months, but with the option of extension.

 

“Freight activity to and from the United Kingdom is undergoing a period of strong growth, particularly the unaccompanied market,” commented Simon Wagstaff, Brittany Ferries’ freight director. “We see this on a daily basis in the garages of our vessels, especially on those operating to and from Spain. Our charter of Pelican will help us meet growing demand from freight customers and free up more garage space on other ships.”

 

Last year Brittany Ferries reported a 20 per cent increase in freight traffic across all routes. 2016 has also started strongly and the company hopes that greater capacity will drive even more business through Poole.

 

“There is a very limited charter market for this type of vessel and we were delighted to find a cost-effective vessel on the French International Register,” added Simon Wagstaff. “This will allow us to operate effectively, but also to balance the books in this important area of our activity.”

 

Pelican specifications:

 

§ Vessel type : RoRo

§ Constructed: 1999 in Norway.

§ Length: 155.5 m

§ Power: 1 WARTSILA engine, delivering 15 600 kW at 500 rpm

§ Speed: 14 to 20 knots.

 

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I assume a new livery for the new vessel?

 

Wouldn't count on it, max money making scheme in my opinion, BF using their experience and contacts to provide a reliable, efficient service to the freight industry win win.

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As neilcvx and the press release both point to, this deal seems to be more around pure financial sense and the fact a vessel is available than anything else.

 

The limit of 12 drivers also sounds familiar... can anyone refresh the memory as if to this allows for higher levels of hazardous cargo to be carried?

Edited by Andy
Opps

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It's another puzzle for me. Wasn't that the point of Cotentin? A ship with a greater dedicated freight capacity unaccompanied or otherwise than either Etretat or Pelican...

 

She's in drydock 9 in Marseille.

 

An interesting life working with the French MOD and she's multi modal so can carry containers too. Her fleet mates were built to carry Ariane and Soyuz components to French Guiana.

Edited by jonno

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As neilcvx and the press release both point to, this deal seems to be more around pure financial sense and the fact a vessel is available than anything else.
... and thus taking it off the market in case a competitor was interested?

 

The limit of 12 drivers also sounds familiar... can anyone refresh the memory as if to this allows for higher levels of hazardous cargo to be carried?
Yes, which was a market Transfennica were able to take advantage of when they ran a freight only service.

 

It's another puzzle for me. Wasn't that the point of Cotentin? A ship with a greater dedicated freight capacity unaccompanied or otherwise than either Etretat or Pelican
Although Cotentin only carried freight she wasn't a 'freighter' in the conventional sense as she was built as a passenger vessel (able to carry more than 12 passengers), and would therefore have been more expensive to operate and maintain (to comply with passenger ship regs). The Coutances is a more comparable ship in terms of being a true freighter.

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From another angle, BF now have three passenger ships serving Spain, the Pont', Cap' and BDS. This move could signal that there's been an upturn in holiday traffic too. Bi weekly freight trips, say 200 units in each direction free's up a lot of caravan, bicycle and roof rack space.

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Yes, which was a market Transfennica were able to take advantage of when they ran a freight only service.

 

Except Transfennica stopped the service...? I wonder whats changed on the space of a few months to get what is a similar service to the one operated by Transfennica operating again?

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I wonder if this may result in one of the existing sailings to Bilbao being switched to Santander? Cap Finistere's Thursday call at Bilbao, for instance, is currently routing to Santander instead during Port Aven's absence. Wonder if this might become more permanent. If something like that doesn't happen then by my reckoning this will be the first time that the number of weekly sailings to Bilbao (will be 5 with the new service) exceeds those to Santander (only 4).

 

On a different note, I share the exasperation that BF are unable to launch (should really say re-launch) this service from Poole without the vessel that was purpose-built for that trade. Very surprised to hear that Cotentin is now in Marseilles, I thought the Stena charter was solid for some time. If that has come to an end then I am totally bemused as to why BF has not taken the opportunity to retrieve her for their own use.

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I wonder if this may result in one of the existing sailings to Bilbao being switched to Santander? Cap Finistere's Thursday call at Bilbao, for instance, is currently routing to Santander instead during Port Aven's absence. Wonder if this might become more permanent. If something like that doesn't happen then by my reckoning this will be the first time that the number of weekly sailings to Bilbao (will be 5 with the new service) exceeds those to Santander (only 4).

 

On a different note, I share the exasperation that BF are unable to launch (should really say re-launch) this service from Poole without the vessel that was purpose-built for that trade. Very surprised to hear that Cotentin is now in Marseilles, I thought the Stena charter was solid for some time. If that has come to an end then I am totally bemused as to why BF has not taken the opportunity to retrieve her for their own use.

I wouldn't see why they would change any current sailings it's designed to free up garage space on current routes for? More freight? More cars? As for bringing back Cont, can't see it the pelican gives them guaranteed income without the hassle of passengers or licences for them making it much cheaper to sail the Pelican than cont I would presume.

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Very surprised to hear that Cotentin is now in Marseilles, I thought the Stena charter was solid for some time. If that has come to an end then I am totally bemused as to why BF has not taken the opportunity to retrieve her for their own use.
Cotentin is still in service with Stena, sailing between Sweden and Poland.
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Very surprised to hear that Cotentin is now in Marseilles, I thought the Stena charter was solid for some time. If that has come to an end then I am totally bemused as to why BF has not taken the opportunity to retrieve her for their own use.

 

'Cotentin' is not in Marseilles, she's still under charter to Stena and sailing from Poland to Sweden & vice-versa. Look for 'Stena Baltica' on AIS.

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Except Transfennica stopped the service...? I wonder whats changed on the space of a few months to get what is a similar service to the one operated by Transfennica operating again?

 

 

What makes it spooky is that MN Pelican used to be known as Trans Botnia, a former Transfennica vessel.

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Although Cotentin only carried freight she wasn't a 'freighter' in the conventional sense as she was built as a passenger vessel (able to carry more than 12 passengers), and would therefore have been more expensive to operate and maintain (to comply with passenger ship regs). The Coutances is a more comparable ship in terms of being a true freighter.
Huh? I thought she was built as a purpose built freighter. In the many discussions we have had over her carrying passengers, it has been said repeatedly that her accommodation facilities weren't suitable, and she in general was not able to carry passengers as such. One reason being her hazardous cargo status, but also her cabins would not be suitable. Many a time she would have come in handy when we didn't have Barfleur!

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Huh? I thought she was built as a purpose built freighter. In the many discussions we have had over her carrying passengers, it has been said repeatedly that her accommodation facilities weren't suitable, and she in general was not able to carry passengers as such. One reason being her hazardous cargo status, but also her cabins would not be suitable. Many a time she would have come in handy when we didn't have Barfleur!
Sorry, I meant in ship classification terms that she was a passenger ship, but to all extent an purpose she was operated as a freight ship (with her limited accommodation and facilities). From a classification perspective anything over 12pax capacity is a passenger ship, and as such much meet a whole host of regulations which a freight ship wouldn't need to.

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