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Cork to Santander Route to Launch in 2018

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NEWS: The Official Press Release regarding the new Ireland - Spain route can be read here. 16/01/18

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

I think P&O had a different business model, theirs was more about packing the bars, the longer they were at sea the more was spent onboard. They couldn't compete for freight as PoB's capacity is poor.

Interesting fact: Irish Ferries still own her through their subsidiary Zatarga Ltd. The same Douglas based company which owns Oscar Wilde.

I'm not sure the business model had anything to do with it.  It was more a case of avoiding pitching up at Bilbao in the early hours, I thought.  Maybe the port was closed anyway.  

I'm sure BF will be keen to avoid a 2330hrs arrival time at either Cork or Santander as was the case on a Saturday at Portsmouth with Acciona Trasmediterranea and Fortuny.

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1 hour ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

I'm not sure the business model had anything to do with it.  It was more a case of avoiding pitching up at Bilbao in the early hours, I thought.  Maybe the port was closed anyway

Oh I dunno HT, she could have sailed a bit earlier from PIP. BF didn't start their regular seasonal Spanish departures from Portsmouth until 2009 and P&O had withdrawn Cherbourg, Caen & Le Havre a few years earlier so there wasn't a berthing issue but I agree, no one wants to turn up at their destination port at midnight... I think BF should leave arr's & deps at those ungodly hours to Irish Ferries & Stena on their UK routes.

 

Edited by jonno

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I’m sure it’s good for BF as a business, but I find this the dullest news to come out of BF towers for a while , a dull ship sailing under a non French flag with a non French crew, I’m sure it will be a success but it all seems a bit economic.

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i think that if the line is a sucess  with passengers bf will change ship more suitable for passengers and why not cotentin for freight

barfleur and cotentin cork spain

normandie express poole

connemara cherbourg porsmouth ou catamaran rapide swift ou westpac express

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On 17/01/2018 at 21:01, Gareth said:

It’s deliberately extended as a two-nighter. Just like CF’s passage down to Bilbao on Mondays takes longer than it would at normal speed.  I really can’t see them planning an 0200 arrival, can you?! 😉

I might be an hour out, they might go for 0700 (which I think is CF’s arrival time in Bilbao on Tuesday mornings).  But I’d be very surprised if it was earlier than that.

Anyway, we’ll see.  I’ll leave it at that (#3) now and see what BF actually comes up with.  Of course I might be totally wrong. 

I also seem to recall there can be difficulties with having police/customs available at anti-social hours at Santander.

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6 hours ago, jonno said:

I think P&O had a different business model, theirs was more about packing the bars, the longer they were at sea the more was spent onboard. They couldn't compete for freight as PoB's capacity is poor.

Interesting fact: Irish Ferries still own her through their subsidiary Zatarga Ltd. The same Douglas based company which owns Oscar Wilde.

Irish Ferries haven't owned the Pride of Bilbao/Princess Anastasia since April 2014

http://otp.investis.com/clients/uk/icg/rns/regulatory-story.aspx?cid=500&newsid=402319

Since then the ship has been transferred to new company Moby St.Peter Line.

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On 17/01/2018 at 08:44, richwarwicker said:

I’ve just looked at Etretat details online and it specifically says there is no kids play area or entertainment, presumably it’s now an area of bar seating as it was in the corner of the bar.

Sounds like it may be in the same place it was in Lagan Viking and Mersey Viking

On 17/01/2018 at 10:31, DorsetWillsy said:

Surprised they never had a route sooner , would imagine it would be a good freight route 

As said before, they’ll be building a freight market from scratch.  Cork is out of the way for a lot of hauliers for a start.  The potential is there but there’s a lot of work to be done.  

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30 minutes ago, tarbyonline said:

As said before, they’ll be building a freight market from scratch.  Cork is out of the way for a lot of hauliers for a start.  The potential is there but there’s a lot of work to be done.  

Not totally.

Anytime I've been on BF's Spanish routes. There has nearly always been some (Irish-based) Nolan Transport trucks on board.  I've often seen their trucks on the roads around Northern Spain. These can now travel direct. At least BF have one big-ish freight company to start off with.

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56 minutes ago, zuludelta said:

Not totally.

Anytime I've been on BF's Spanish routes. There has nearly always been some (Irish-based) Nolan Transport trucks on board.  I've often seen their trucks on the roads around Northern Spain. These can now travel direct. At least BF have one big-ish freight company to start off with.

It is from scratch as at the moment absolutely no one is sending their trucks direct from Ireland to Spain.  Nolan already have a relationship with the other operators.  Hauliers sign agreements with operators and then use those operators as they’ll have agreed rates based on volumes.  Cork is out of the way for those based in Wexford and Dublin (not to mention further north). If the bulk of a hauliers shipments go through Dublin or Rosslare then chances are they’ll stick with those ports unless it is significantly advantageous to do otherwise.  Much will depend on both pricing and reliability.  At times BF’s freight carryings from Cork are in the single figures (on a weekly service), but a more regular service should hopefully improve that for them and perhaps they can get a bit of a hub effect going at Cork.  Just having a more convenient route isn’t enough though - this isn’t people booking their holidays!  I honestly wish BF the best of success with this new route, but there is a lot of work to be done.  If there wasn’t then another operator would have opened a direct route from Ireland to Spain years ago!  There is definitely potential, but that isn’t the same as having acceptable load factors on a route which after all hasn’t even had its first sailing yet!  LD lines could be used as an example in that they had very good loads but couldn’t make St Nazaire - Gijon pay without subsidy.  Bottom line is the majority of the freight from Ireland isn’t in Cork but elsewhere. It’s BF’s task now to tempt it down there, and away from the established routes (and relationships).  They should have little trouble filling the passenger capacity over the summer though.

Edited by tarbyonline

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22 minutes ago, tarbyonline said:

I honestly wish BF the best of success with this new route, but there is a lot of work to be done.  If there wasn’t then another operator would have opened a direct route from Ireland to Spain years ago!  There is definitely potential, but that isn’t the same as having acceptable load factors on a route which after all hasn’t even had its first sailing yet!

I agree, it will be a tough challenge to establish this route, especially given the trends for other ferry routes across Europe. DFDS's closure of their Harwich-Esbjerg route (even with their extensive logistics operation) being a case in point.

But BF might surprise everyone yet. It's in their DNA of making "unworkable" ferry routes "workable" again.

Edited by zuludelta

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1 hour ago, zuludelta said:

I agree, it will be a tough challenge to establish this route, especially given the trends for other ferry routes across Europe. DFDS's closure of their Harwich-Esbjerg route (even with their extensive logistics operation) being a case in point.

But BF might surprise everyone yet. It's in their DNA of making "unworkable" ferry routes "workable" again.

This may be anecdotal but the last time I was at Ringaskiddy PA had to leave a truck behind!  What's the betting that if a service between Ireland and Spain exists the business will head for it.  Personally I would have thought Rosslare-St Nazaire(Montoir) was worth considering -- but they are not existing BF ports as are Cork and Santander where BF presumably has organisations able to handle this new additional service.

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6 hours ago, zuludelta said:

Not totally.

Anytime I've been on BF's Spanish routes. There has nearly always been some (Irish-based) Nolan Transport trucks on board.  I've often seen their trucks on the roads around Northern Spain. These can now travel direct. At least BF have one big-ish freight company to start off with.

Do you now what they are typically transporting? I'd have assumed it was fresh fish but that may be totally wrong. Ed

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Reading Tarby's point about the difficulty of attracting freight to Cork makes me wonder.  I know we are talking years down the line, but if BF manages to demonstrate that there is a market for direct travel between Ireland and Spain, then what’s the betting IF responds with a route of their own in time?  If, for example, IF responded with a Dublin - Gijon route then that could give BF a real headache at Cork.  BF needs to be careful it doesn't just become IF's testing ground with this new service.

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6 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Do you now what they are typically transporting? I'd have assumed it was fresh fish but that may be totally wrong. Ed

I've no idea. Always wanted to find out!

And on the subject of fish, here is a very interesting article on the complexities of carrying fish. It also covers how UK border controls could delay Irish hauliers. This gives a lot of context to BF's decision to launch this route. 

If fish transportation is the main driver of this route, the article interestingly states:

"If anything was to go wrong, the [driver] can't access the container for the 17-hour crossing so he has to minimise the time he's away from the container. There's a huge quantity of that leaving Ireland. Probably about 100 loads a week from ports around Ireland."

Seemingly trifle details like this can make or break a business strategy.

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/warning-hard-border-could-put-hauliers-out-of-business-35987641.html

 

 

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2 hours ago, zuludelta said:

I've no idea. Always wanted to find out!

And on the subject of fish, here is a very interesting article on the complexities of carrying fish. It also covers how UK border controls could delay Irish hauliers. This gives a lot of context to BF's decision to launch this route. 

If fish transportation is the main driver of this route, the article interestingly states:

"If anything was to go wrong, the [driver] can't access the container for the 17-hour crossing so he has to minimise the time he's away from the container. There's a huge quantity of that leaving Ireland. Probably about 100 loads a week from ports around Ireland."

Seemingly trifle details like this can make or break a business strategy.

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/warning-hard-border-could-put-hauliers-out-of-business-35987641.html

 

 

Thanks for that. From the info in the article I think we can rule out shellfish but assuming the trailers can plug into the ship's electricity supply it could well be white and pink fish or meat (lamb and beef I presume). I guess there may well be beer and whiskey being shipped this way too, plus perhaps a limited quantity of textiles. Any other suggestions? Ed. 

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15 hours ago, zuludelta said:

Not totally.

Anytime I've been on BF's Spanish routes. There has nearly always been some (Irish-based) Nolan Transport trucks on board.  I've often seen their trucks on the roads around Northern Spain. These can now travel direct. At least BF have one big-ish freight company to start off with.

There is certainly potential here as there is a lot of Irish freight going to Spain, Portugal, South of France and even Italy.  But Tarby's point is important.  Even the freight currently using BF is most likely using Dublin or Rosslare to get to England where there are both hubs and options in the event of cancelled sailings. Accompanied is a bit more flexible but unaccompanied is quite inflexible in such circumstances.  

Interestingly Nolan used LD's Rosslare - Gijon route despite the very long trip due to the stop at Montoir, the reason being that the time aboard the ship gave driver's their mandatory non-driving time.  It wasn't anything like enough to fill a Visentini but certainly shows the potential.  I imagine the new Friday sailing from Cork will be a winner for this reason.

As I have said elsewhere, I am sure under the competent and patient management of Brittany Ferries this route has a lot of potential but it is an uphill battle and moreso sailing from Cork rather than Rosslare or Dublin so don't be surprised if there are early reports of very poor freight loadings.  I am sure this is even in BF's projections.

As for the comment elsewhere on this thread about the Pont-Aven leaving behind freight on Roscoff - Cork sailings, the same poster is a regular reader of Shippax and will know BF's freight carryings on this route are low as there is a low freight allocation on this sailing as passenger traffic is much more lucrative than freight on this route.  So to say he has seen freight "left behind" is misleading, the vehicle deck space pressure is from tourist not freight traffic.  That said, the introduction of the additional year-round sailing using the Connemara will be interesting to see how it develops freight.

Long-term I'd be fairly confident all this will work, just don't expect it to happen instantly!

Edited by RickOShea

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I did say my account of a truck being left behind at Cork was anecdotal!  I don't doubt much of the vehicular space on PA was taken up with tourist traffic.  But this wouldn't have helped the truck driver, would it?  What was he to do now, head for Rosslare it was thought?

I am intrigued by how one should regard LD's Rosslare-Montoir-Gijon service, as one route or two.  I have always thought of it as the latter.  For example would a hypothetical Cork-Roscoff-Santander service be one route or two?  Would any Ireland-France-Spain through service be  a good idea anyway?  Thus BF are very likely right to favour the direct connection they are about to establish.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

 it could well be white and pink fish or meat (lamb and beef I presume). I guess there may well be beer and whiskey being shipped this way too, plus perhaps a limited quantity of textiles. Any other suggestions? Ed. 

I don't know! I will see if I can dig up some Ireland / Spain import-export stats. It might reveal something.

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57 minutes ago, Hawser Trunnion said:

I did say my account of a truck being left behind at Cork was anecdotal!  I don't doubt much of the vehicular space on PA was taken up with tourist traffic.  But this wouldn't have helped the truck driver, would it?  What was he to do now, head for Rosslare it was thought?

I am intrigued by how one should regard LD's Rosslare-Montoir-Gijon service, as one route or two.  I have always thought of it as the latter.  For example would a hypothetical Cork-Roscoff-Santander service be one route or two?  Would any Ireland-France-Spain through service be  a good idea anyway?  Thus BF are very likely right to favour the direct connection they are about to establish.

LD's preference would have been a direct Ireland - Spain route but it wasn't possible to do that and cover essential sailings on the France - Spain route.

That said Rosslare - Montoir was extremely popular with tourists as it was taking them closer to where they wanted to go than the Cherbourg services.

As for whether it was one route or two - it was both (especially Southbound).  Through freight and drivers never left the ship but quirky customs / border control demands meant cars had to drive off.

A through route is infinitely more appealing.

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I think it's an astute move by BF to start a direct Eire-Spain route now, getting in early to become established and staying ahead of the game is their modus operandi. Direct links save millions of pounds in terms of fuel & maintenance costs not to mention that the route will begin to offer more lane metres to those Irish hauliers whose markets are based to the east.

If Nolans for example can save time and money by increasing their volumes on a dedicated southern route they'll do it in a heartbeat. Stena & I.F won't be losing out as the east bound traffic will be increased filling the deck space.

it's also worth remembering that the EU, Spain & France have plans in place to redirect over 800,000 TEU's from transiting the Pyrenees. The plan is to have them sea-borne from Gijon, Santander, Zierbena & Pasajes. The road & rail infrastructure together with the necessary port expansion is ongoing and will cost in the region of €6-7 billion. I think this is an initial move toward that aim.

This has been highlighted on another thread ad nauseum.

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21 minutes ago, zuludelta said:

I don't know! I will see if I can dig up some Ireland / Spain import-export stats. It might reveal something.

I found this about Irish exports, not specifically to Spain but overall. Any of the items listed could well go but truck to Southern Europe and North Africa via the new route.

https://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.worldstopexports.com/irelands-top-10-exports/&ved=2ahUKEwj-o4GBnuTYAhXFy6QKHRoeBdcQFjANegQIERAB&usg=AOvVaw05QnswxB58i1BFnoLobQiE

Ed. 

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I am sure this new route will be a success and I will certainly use it from IOM/Dublin and drive to Cork  rather than IOM/Liverpool or Heysham and then the longish drive down to Portsmouth or Plymouth. Of course I am eager to read fare structure.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

I found this about Irish exports, not specifically to Spain but overall. Any of the items listed could well go but truck to Southern Europe and North Africa via the new route.

https://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.worldstopexports.com/irelands-top-10-exports/&ved=2ahUKEwj-o4GBnuTYAhXFy6QKHRoeBdcQFjANegQIERAB&usg=AOvVaw05QnswxB58i1BFnoLobQiE

Ed. 

Just to add to what Ed has found... Scrolling down highlights the different export markets.

https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/irl/

Edited by jonno
Forgot the link!

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4 minutes ago, jonno said:

Just to add to what Ed has found... Scrolling down highlights the different export markets.

https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/irl/

Thanks Jonno. By clicking on the link to Spain specifically, I got this visual chart listing the exports:

https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/visualize/tree_map/hs92/import/esp/irl/show/2016/

A very wide variety of good in specific categories.

Ed

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