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TonyMWeaver

Baie de Seine to leave BF Fleet/ Stena Eflexer to replace

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18 hours ago, zuludelta said:

But Dover and Calais ports seems to be particular choke-points.  

That's due to the sheer volume of traffic which can be shipped between the two ports on a daily basis.  To move anything like that type of volume through Portsmouth and Cherbourg for instance would need a lot more ships and a lot of infrastructure investment.  Operating costs per unit shipped would also be higher meaning higher ticket prices to ship goods to a port which may well be further from the eventual destination of the Cargo.  It's worth remembereing that a lot of the traffic passing through Calais isn't bound for France but Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland, etc.  That the Dover - Calais (and Dunkirk) services continue to grow despite repeated disruption over many years demonstrates just how attractive the route is.  It's hardly logical to deal with customs delays by wasting fuel driving to a port that's hours out of the way to take a service to a destination which is further away from the end point of the journey.  If anywhere was to benefit from holdups at Dover and Calais I would have thought it would be the routes to Belgium and the Netherlands. For all any of us know at present there might not be any significant additional holdups or there could even be some sort of system to pre-clear shipments (effectively fast tracking) before they get anywhere near the port.

While in theory anyone with the necessary resources could start a western channel service, we've already seen how Brittany Ferries react to someone moving in on "their turf".  LD lines came along with an alternative business model after all, so BF started Economie and effectively put them out of business by replicating their product.  The threat of additional capacity and lower prices from BF make it an expensive enterprise to take them on.  There are easier ways of making money in this industry than starting a price war with Brittany Ferries!

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3 hours ago, tarbyonline said:

That's due to the sheer volume of traffic which can be shipped between the two ports on a daily basis.  To move anything like that type of volume through Portsmouth and Cherbourg for instance would need a lot more ships and a lot of infrastructure investment.  Operating costs per unit shipped would also be higher meaning higher ticket prices to ship goods to a port which may well be further from the eventual destination of the Cargo.  It's worth remembereing that a lot of the traffic passing through Calais isn't bound for France but Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland, etc.  That the Dover - Calais (and Dunkirk) services continue to grow despite repeated disruption over many years demonstrates just how attractive the route is.  It's hardly logical to deal with customs delays by wasting fuel driving to a port that's hours out of the way to take a service to a destination which is further away from the end point of the journey.  If anywhere was to benefit from holdups at Dover and Calais I would have thought it would be the routes to Belgium and the Netherlands. For all any of us know at present there might not be any significant additional holdups or there could even be some sort of system to pre-clear shipments (effectively fast tracking) before they get anywhere near the port.

While in theory anyone with the necessary resources could start a western channel service, we've already seen how Brittany Ferries react to someone moving in on "their turf".  LD lines came along with an alternative business model after all, so BF started Economie and effectively put them out of business by replicating their product.  The threat of additional capacity and lower prices from BF make it an expensive enterprise to take them on.  There are easier ways of making money in this industry than starting a price war with Brittany Ferries!

I'm not sure this analysis factors in all the angles.  The ports involved cannot be excluded from consideration; they have to justify their own existences and BF doesn't own them.

The point about the Channel Tunnel and the Dover crossings is that they both offer short transit times and a very frequent service.  These features are very important to many travellers quite apart from the  cheapest fares.  These are not features of western channel services though at one time there were four daily sailings between Poole and Cherbourg at the peak period.  I don't believe that the fact that there are now fewer sailings on this route has anything to do with the intake of the ferries in terms of pax, cars, trucks etc.

It's hard to understand LD Lines but I do think they were unlucky -- and BF correspondingly lucky.  But I say no more until I've read George Holland's history of LD published by Ferry Publications.

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Firstly I thought BF only started the Economie brand once they were "given" the route when DFDS pulled out of Le Havre. The company at the time was only just getting out of the problems related to the 2008 crash, and with ongoing union disputes still not sorted they were'nt in a position to charter a more suitable vessel, so to say BF put LD Lines out of business with the Economie brand is wrong.

And secondly I agree with HT that LD are hard to understand, but not that they were unlucky. They appeared to change their minds about every 4 days, chopping and changing vessels and routes; not only was their customer base confused but looking from the outside so was the management with some very muddled thinking.

I fear George Holland's book about the history of LD Lines will be a pretty thin affair........:S

Chris

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1 hour ago, Fine Whine said:

Firstly I thought BF only started the Economie brand once they were "given" the route when DFDS pulled out of Le Havre. The company at the time was only just getting out of the problems related to the 2008 crash, and with ongoing union disputes still not sorted they were'nt in a position to charter a more suitable vessel, so to say BF put LD Lines out of business with the Economie brand is wrong.

And secondly I agree with HT that LD are hard to understand, but not that they were unlucky. They appeared to change their minds about every 4 days, chopping and changing vessels and routes; not only was their customer base confused but looking from the outside so was the management with some very muddled thinking.

I fear George Holland's book about the history of LD Lines will be a pretty thin affair........:S

Chris

Economie operated alongside the DFDS/LD service for a number of months, until DFDS/LD closed the service down due to not being able to make a profit.  To say Brittany Ferries copied the DFDS/LD no-frills service with Economie would be an understatement, they even chartered the same vessel once DFDS/LD decided to use one of the Newhaven ships to reduce costs!  Effectively BF saturated the market with Economie. I agree though that there was some very muddled thinking on the DFDS/LD side, and they were partially responsible for their own demise.

I don't hold out much hope for any Ferry Publications book these days to be honest.  

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1 hour ago, tarbyonline said:

 

Anyway, back to the original topic.  A Stena E-Flexer series is surely an upgrade to Baie de Seine.  Something that is only going to make it all the harder for another operator to compete.

Bringing myself back to the topic in hand, I  would say that in  most respects an e-flexer is the perfect ship for the route. Think I would prefer for more than two engines but aside from that...

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On 13/07/2017 at 14:44, RickOShea said:

DFDS' Baltic ropax services are growing so I would be totally shocked if the Baie de Seine doesn't appear on those routes as additional tonnage or to replace older/smaller ships.

She won't replace the King or Princess Seaways, the Dutch route is a major passenger route and it would be commercial suicide to move to something with many fewer cabins.  I think the existing ships there are also candidates for life extension work and could be around for quite a while yet.

Doubt any life extension work for King or Princess... DFDS would be far more interested in smaller tonnage, simply because they have no regards for long distance routes. 

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6 hours ago, neilcvx said:

They just spent a few million on both King and Princess sea ways.

Exactly!  If they had no interest, why invest anything??

DFDS have said publicly that the good ships are for at least 5 years following recent work.

With further investment they may last even longer.

This route is working well for DFDS with the current tonnage 

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I have to say the prospect of some of my favourite ships being around for several years yet is a very welcome one and not something I think many of us could have predicted a few years back?

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It has been confirmed that BF will charter one of the Stena E-Flexer ships, which will enter service in 2021. 

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5 minutes ago, Andy said:

It has been confirmed that BF will charter one of the Stena E-Flexer ships, which will enter service in 2021. 

2021?

Baie de Seine leaves in 2019 doesn't she?

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Wouldn't be surprised to see Etretat taking over BDS' schedules on a temporary basis to fill the gap before the charter arrives once Normandie has taken over at Le Havre (?)

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3 hours ago, neilcvx said:

And Econime ships don't have restaurants 😉

But those who have travelled on Baie De Seine will know her self service is like no other ship in the fleet :) 

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19 hours ago, cap fin 67 said:

But those who have travelled on Baie De Seine will know her self service is like no other ship in the fleet :) 

it is just the best... I don't know if anyone remembers when she was DFDS, but the meatballs in that place!! Brings back memories of the KBH Lufthavn lounge :3 

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I will have to say the Baie de Seine, is a nice for a day crossing over to Le Havre, but when it comes to a short trip over night I don't use a cabin, same as on the Etretat, but with her you can book lounge seating for the over night, as I only take the car over at times I always go via Caen, and if I had a choice both of the ships would not be on my short list.

Let us hope that BF's don't go back down this road with anything like them.

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16 hours ago, Danish Ferry Person said:

it is just the best... I don't know if anyone remembers when she was DFDS, but the meatballs in that place!! Brings back memories of the KBH Lufthavn lounge :3 

I don't know about that. Yes, in the earlier days maybe, the restaurants were quite up-market, but by the end both the food and service had declined dramatically, in my opinion. The crew appeared demoralised and passengers just an inconvenience to them. I'm sure BF will have improved things in that respect.

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Lot of waffle going on about this story,instead of all this marine,tonnage  finance available ferries etc.do you not think bf have done there homework and came up with a fleet that works for Them?why not just talk in plain English?cheers

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14 hours ago, nodwad said:

Lot of waffle going on about this story,instead of all this marine,tonnage  finance available ferries etc.do you not think bf have done there homework and came up with a fleet that works for Them?why not just talk in plain English?cheers

It's the side effect of being a forum of shipping enthusiasts, nodwad!

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