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jonno

Brittany Ferries record numbers.

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So that's 70% of all their UK traffic going through Portsmouth leaving Plymouth and Poole with 30% to share out. Does anybody know what each of them represents? Given the passenger capacities on Armorique and PA compared to Barfleur it must be something like 20% for Plymouth and 10% for Poole or even less. It makes me wonder why they they still bother aside from stopping the competition coming in. If it wasn't for the freight side of things I imagine it would be cut out. And perhaps when Barfleur reaches the end of her useful life that's what will happen and they will bring Cotentin back to replace her. Ed.

Edited by Cabin-boy

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I'd be surprised if Poole accounts for even 10% Ed. I suppose if you include Pelican then possibly. But with just 1 sailing per day and with Barfleur operating on a reduced certificate I'd have thought her contribution to the total would be something nearer 5%. Of course they have the ship on their books and whilst she is there they might as well use her and if they are going to use her they might as well use her at Poole given that was what she was designed for. But I can't see the BF operation at Poole surviving past Barfleur's tenure in the fleet.

 

Encouraging numbers all round, thanks for posting Jonno and, as you say, well done BF. The future looks bright.

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That's not really news.

Plymouth and Poole definately still serve a purpose though. Not everyone wants to travel through a "super hub" anyway, regardless or distance!

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That's not really news.

Plymouth and Poole definately still serve a purpose though. Not everyone wants to travel through a "super hub" anyway, regardless or distance!

 

Poole does 'serve a purpose' in that it keeps Barfleur from the breakers' yard but that's not an expression the bean counters at BF are likely to use when reviewing the results. When her time is up that will be it I suspect. Although Condor could certainly then step in if they thought it was financially viable. Plymouth on the other hand is far enough away from Portsmouth and close enough to Spain and Brittany to justify its survival. Ed.

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70% of traffic through Portsmouth sounds correct proportionately. A quick glance and raw calculations suggest 18% of weekly crossings are via Plymouth, and 11% via Poole, so 71% Portsmouth. I've looked at a week in August for this calculation. On the basis Plymouth shut down in winter over the year plymouths proportion of crossings is probably a fair bit lower. And I've just realised I omitted the Catamaran services from my calculation so Portsmouth is higher than the 71% I came to.

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So that's 70% of all their UK traffic going through Portsmouth leaving Plymouth and Poole with 30% to share out. Does anybody know what each of them represents? Given the passenger capacities on Armorique and PA compared to Barfleur it must be something like 20% for Plymouth and 10% for Poole or even less. It makes me wonder why they they still bother aside from stopping the competition coming in. If it wasn't for the freight side of things I imagine it would be cut out. And perhaps when Barfleur reaches the end of her useful life that's what will happen and they will bring Cotentin back to replace her. Ed.

 

Forgive me, perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't quite see how maximum capacity in any way equates number of passengers carried unless of course you're saying Plymouth and Poole sailing are all filled to maximum capacity on every sailing. Are you trying to say this? Either way it doesn't actually matter what's important is if a route is in profit or loss. BF is in business to make money so frankly the number of bodies you can cram on a steel plate is of no consequence if they're not generating any profit.

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Poole does 'serve a purpose' in that it keeps Barfleur from the breakers' yard but that's not an expression the bean counters at BF are likely to use when reviewing the results. When her time is up that will be it I suspect. Although Condor could certainly then step in if they thought it was financially viable. Plymouth on the other hand is far enough away from Portsmouth and close enough to Spain and Brittany to justify its survival. Ed.

 

An interesting arguement. However, if you were to get rid of Poole then BF do not sail to Cherbourg. Cherbourg is a destination which definately still has a market... not everyone wants to go 'either side' as it were. And if you moved a cherbourg operation to Plymouth you increase fuel costs, and ports costs, and what ship would serve it? Barfleur?

Essentially Poole's purpose it seems to me is to serve Cherbourg?

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Forgive me, perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't quite see how maximum capacity in any way equates number of passengers carried unless of course you're saying Plymouth and Poole sailing are all filled to maximum capacity on every sailing. Are you trying to say this? Either way it doesn't actually matter what's important is if a route is in profit or loss. BF is in business to make money so frankly the number of bodies you can cram on a steel plate is of no consequence if they're not generating any profit.

 

I agree that if they are making a profit on her then keep going - and they probably are as they gave her scrubbers. At 25 years of age she is probably paid off. But is it economically viable to think about replacing her in another 5 years or so with Portsmouth just down the road? If they can divert her freight elsewhere then I can't see a future for the line. Ed.

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An interesting arguement. However, if you were to get rid of Poole then BF do not sail to Cherbourg. Cherbourg is a destination which definately still has a market... not everyone wants to go 'either side' as it were. And if you moved a cherbourg operation to Plymouth you increase fuel costs, and ports costs, and what ship would serve it? Barfleur?

Essentially Poole's purpose it seems to me is to serve Cherbourg?

 

Serve Cherbourg or save Cherbourg? Don't get me wrong, I do like Cherbourg as it suits me well. But I want to go to Portsmouth and have done many times on the NEX in summer and before that with P&O Express etc. The point is to rationalise the costs it would make more economic sense to run a vessel (Barfleur or otherwise) from Portsmouth assuming PIP can handle another vessel. Ed.

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Serve Cherbourg or save Cherbourg? Don't get me wrong, I do like Cherbourg as it suits me well. But I want to go to Portsmouth and have done many times on the NEX in summer and before that with P&O Express etc. The point is to rationalise the costs it would make more economic sense to run a vessel (Barfleur or otherwise) from Portsmouth assuming PIP can handle another vessel. Ed.

 

I'm sure you're right, Barfleur will go. I'm not sure the reason will be that you "want to go to Portsmouth". Not really sure either why you think Portsmouth would be more cost effective. If you take even a cursory glance at a map, I think you may find unless I'm very much mistaken, it's further away from Cherbourg than Poole. That's going to use more fuel, not less, more crew hours, not less and given the number of vessels already using Portsmouth, probably less socially acceptable sailing times as well.

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I'm sure you're right, Barfleur will go. I'm not sure the reason will be that you "want to go to Portsmouth". Not really sure either why you think Portsmouth would be more cost effective. If you take even a cursory glance at a map, I think you may find unless I'm very much mistaken, it's further away from Cherbourg than Poole. That's going to use more fuel, not less, more crew hours, not less and given the number of vessels already using Portsmouth, probably less socially acceptable sailing times as well.

 

It's further away for sure so more crew hours and more fuel, yes. But the harbour staff in Portsmouth are already in place so you can cut jobs in Poole and the longer the passengers are on board the more you can get them to spend money to offset the fuel costs. The sailing time will depend on where the vessel spends the night I guess but mid mornings and mid afternoons are relatively quiet so there may be some flexibility there. I accept the fact that I want to go to Portsmouth is unlikely to be the deciding factor but as Portsmouth is most probably not the final destination for most passengers then the port with the best road links will win if it comes to cost cutting. Ed.

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I reckon when it is time for our dear friend to go then I bet Armorique will be the Poole-Cherbourg ship and a new vessel serving her present duties. Arm has served Poole before and will be next month, she would be better than getting Cotentin back, she is freight only, Arm carries pax as well and would be more suitable. I reckon Arm will be Barf's replacement.

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How many cabins on Barfleur? About 60 isn't it? And you want to pinch Armorique from Plymouth - a ship with about 250 cabins to run across from Poole to Cherbourg on a four or five hour daytime crossing? A few surplus cabins I think..

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How many cabins on Barfleur? About 60 isn't it? And you want to pinch Armorique from Plymouth - a ship with about 250 cabins to run across from Poole to Cherbourg on a four or five hour daytime crossing? A few surplus cabins I think..

 

Will never happen. Armorique will stay at Plymouth.

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Will never happen. Armorique will stay at Plymouth.

 

 

72 on Barfleur, although BF figures are different everywhere.

 

I have to admit Gareth is right, Plymouth numbers are too great for Barfleur now. Although I did miss her when she paid a visit to Plymouth not long ago.

 

I have often wondered if some sort of a triangular rotation would be a good idea for Barfleur in the winter downtime which Plymouth experiences.

 

So 'Poole - Cherbourg - Plymouth - Roscoff - Plymouth - Cherbourg - Poole' for the weeks from the end of Jan and throughout Feb! Would keep Plymouth and Poole served then throughout!

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I was meaning if there is a ship shuffle and new ships get brought into the fleet then Plymouh might well get a new vessel - and if that means Barf gets "retired" hen Arm can come here. She fits - and regarding cabins, Arm's cabins are probably better than Barf's and she is bigger with more facilities, something often complained about our dear friend we have already. So in theory, she would be more popular - and so would Poole. It would possibly make Poole more popular - as I suggested with the infamous suggestion of Nova Star. Bigger ship with more facilities and better cabin types would see Poole a bit more popular.

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I would have felt that Armorique would be 'overkill' as a Poole regular vessel.

 

Totally. If BF ever get to the point where Armorique is surplus to all other routes (highly unlikely) then I'd have thought it may make more business sense to just sell her rather than use her to prop up Poole. She must be one of the most sell-onable vessels they have. If she is ever displaced from Plymouth I could see her moved to the Le Havre route to replace Etretat. Or if it was felt there is a place for Cherbourg in the network then to open up a route to Cherbourg from Portsmouth for reasons Ed has already gone into.

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Poole could be the perfect departure for NEX. It may also go some way to future proofing her role within the company. As the original Truckline vessel, Barfleur with her cruise ferry like lines would be ideal for Le Havre.

 

BF could then release Etretat back to Stena, saving money in the process.

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I was meaning if there is a ship shuffle and new ships get brought into the fleet then Plymouh might well get a new vessel - and if that means Barf gets "retired" hen Arm can come here. She fits - and regarding cabins, Arm's cabins are probably better than Barf's and she is bigger with more facilities, something often complained about our dear friend we have already. So in theory, she would be more popular - and so would Poole. It would possibly make Poole more popular - as I suggested with the infamous suggestion of Nova Star. Bigger ship with more facilities and better cabin types would see Poole a bit more popular.

 

 

But it's not just the ship alone - and that's the whole point. Even Barf wasn't sustainable until they cut the costs of running her substantially. People will travel for the route, times and price - the ship itself will, for many people, not be the top of the list.

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Cherbourg is the shortest route though - and with the right ship when our friend departs which has good enough facilities would possibly persuade people that Poole is a good bet. Poole's roads put many off, but Barfleur's lack of facilities are a no-no for quite a few, as has been discussed - errrrrr, argued about here many times. We are perfectly happy with the old girl, but her time will come and it would be nice to see Poole survive, and with maybe a bigger vessel on the Cherbourg route that will encourage people to use Poole. I personally would love NEX, but she would be seasonal.

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As somebody who only uses the Poole/ Cherbourg route to minimise the traveling time for our dog to be on the "High Seas" as she is not a seadog by any means, NEX on this route would suit me fine

Edited by KeynshamKid
fingers not as fast as my brain

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As has been said before BF want to keep the Western Channel to themselves.

To do that they operate out of three ports.

Strategy doesn't always mean you make big money everywhere.

It's all about the complete picture and that includes keeping the competition out.

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