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BobCrox

Brexit effect on BF

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I'm sure Moby will take anyone's money - and you can have the pick of Moby/Tirrenia/Toremar fleets. 

Come to think of it the Bithia is for sale at the moment. Flash enough cash and BF could end up with one of her superior, larger, half-sisters.

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Wortley makes a good point so I'll offer a different perspective, a bit of devils advocate if you like.

So far the differing arrangements put forward by forum contributors utilising BF's current fleet are informed and not unrealistic.

Thing is though, if BF alter all the timetables for Roscoff, Cherbourg and Le Havre due to using only their current tonnage surely that will inconvenience the thousands of travellers who have already booked crossings for 2019?

For instance might it not just cause congestion on the Ouistreham route by travellers opting for the 0815 sailing as Barfy's 0830 from Poole has switched to 0600?

If the timetables alter significantly as to show more sailings at times that appear more anti social, might that not impact BF's business in the longer term as prospective travellers may look elsewhere and never return rather than possibly needing to spend extra on a hotel room adding a further burden to their wallets?

Many of us talk about how BF need freight, they do, it's a matter of fact. However, it represents less that 30% of their business (yes I was surprised too) they rely far more heavily on pax bookings.

It's ok for DFDS and Seabourne, they don't carry passengers from Immingham and Felixstowe.

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2 hours ago, jonno said:

Wortley makes a good point so I'll offer a different perspective, a bit of devils advocate if you like.

So far the differing arrangements put forward by forum contributors utilising BF's current fleet are informed and not unrealistic.

Thing is though, if BF alter all the timetables for Roscoff, Cherbourg and Le Havre due to using only their current tonnage surely that will inconvenience the thousands of travellers who have already booked crossings for 2019?

For instance might it not just cause congestion on the Ouistreham route by travellers opting for the 0815 sailing as Barfy's 0830 from Poole has switched to 0600?

If the timetables alter significantly as to show more sailings at times that appear more anti social, might that not impact BF's business in the longer term as prospective travellers may look elsewhere and never return rather than possibly needing to spend extra on a hotel room adding a further burden to their wallets?

Many of us talk about how BF need freight, they do, it's a matter of fact. However, it represents less that 30% of their business (yes I was surprised too) they rely far more heavily on pax bookings.

It's ok for DFDS and Seabourne, they don't carry passengers from Immingham and Felixstowe.

My thoughts exactly. Got 6 trips booked all out of Plymouth.
We suffer only overnight long outbound crossings until the season proper starts. Fine, we depart at a reasonable time and arrive at a reasonable time after Arm wanders down the Cornish coast before setting off. Sensible time for the return journey, allowing a comfortable journey up to Roscoff. Rescheduling  of the existing timings for BF to fit in another daily crossing will cost me and I will need a rethink on all this. I can see it will be akin to a regional airport, a mere 100 miles away with a departing flight at sparrows fart and return at midnight with another drive at 1am esp in wintertime. All scheduled to make return trips to Europe within the day.
Apart from the holiday season I have seldom seen Arm  packed fully with pax or freight.
And where will all this freight come from? The west country is the dead limb of the UK with the only realistic transport link down the M5. Roscoff is hardly located well for serving central or eastern France industry.
I can see BF down here carrying small amounts of freight and pax loads and peeing off many with the unsocial timings. Still, its their bat and ball and I'm just the customer.

SFD

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4 hours ago, nottingham said:

Its those overworked dockers you feel sorry for .........😉

I suspect that £46m payment came with a plentiful supply of brown envelopes just in case. Ed. 

Edited by Cabin-boy

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3 hours ago, straightfeed said:

. Still, its their bat and ball and I'm just the customer.

SFD

Will be waiting to see how our sailings are affected could mean us having to book onward hotels or hotels on this side of the crossing which all adds to cost not to mention time off work , loyal customers money or one off payment from a last minute desperate government that freighters might not even use.

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Barfy used to leave Poole at midnight and arrive in France at 06.00 in the morning (or was it 06.30) French time. She used to turn round and go back to Poole and be back at Cherbourg for the evening sailing home.  I remember seeing her going back out around 12.30 from Poole to get back to France for around 17.30.  We’d leave at 18.30 and be back in Poole for 10pm.

Timings are best I can remember but near enough. 

Edited by Khaines

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From memory départ Poole 23h45, arrive Cherbourg 06h30. Leave 08h00 back in the UK 11h00. 12h30 out, arrive France 17h30. Leave 19h00, back in Poole at 22h15

Chris

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15 hours ago, BobCrox said:

In Franschhoek you should be drinking wine.

Yes doing that as well!

Going off topic but here are the vines on the estate we’re staying at; another long hard day at the office ahead ....🙄

Chris

 

7DFBEA6B-666F-44AA-AB65-895A87E66C8C.jpeg

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No matter what the problems I just cant see hauliers routing their trucks on a long haul to Roscoff, which is out on a limb...then doing the same from Plymouth to deliver to somewhere in the south east of the UK..

     Probably still quicker and more manageable to queue via the short sea routes...I just doubt Roscoff route is going to be so disrupted..

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Why not Paully?  The consumer will pay for the additional cost.

Sadly this ruins my plans for a small import/export business taking my own boat from Plymouth to Roscoff twice a week to supply essentials to friends and family. :)

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No matter what the problems I just cant see hauliers routing their trucks on a long haul to Roscoff, which is out on a limb...then doing the same from Plymouth to deliver to somewhere in the south east of the UK..

     Probably still quicker and more manageable to queue via the short sea routes...I just doubt Roscoff route is going to be so disrupted..

Quite! Most traffic out of Dover will be heading South through East on the Continent side. It will have to be a very long delay to justify trekking in the opposite direction to Portsmouth and back from Le Havre let alone points further West. The delays will still be there and maybe even greater and the trucks will be burning up fuel instead of tucked up on the M20 car park...

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You can get 12 of the 19 by just matching the Le Havre schedule to the Ouistreham one. That's surely the easiest option, particularly in terms of geography for displaced freight, which leaves some, but less huge, changes to other routes. 

I like @Gareth's thought of bringing back Portsmouth-Cherbourg on a full time basis though as you could really get a return in sailing numbers there from one ship. Stick Etretat on that and hammer 12 or 13 round trips a week out of her (this assumes she isn't too slow at loading/unloading?). 

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I imagine that the purchasing of capacity means that any problems will be managed and truckers will not have any options where they sail from. 

Given the multiple variables and criteria needed to assess priorities of thousands of trucks per day that strikes me as being rather unlikely. And who would devise and operate such a complex system, particularly in the remaining time available? You can't just pluck people with the necesary skills out of thin air. Turning Biggin Hill into a transit facility would be a doddle by comparison.

I suspect the most that could be expected would be general guidance as to Dover alternatives and it will be left to hauliers to make up their own minds what to do depending on the current situation.

As far as I can see from what has been published so far, the Government are simply arranging for 10% of Dover's capacity to be accommodated by other ferry operators to literally spread the load.

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16 hours ago, cvabishop said:

I would have thought that Plymouth - Roscoff is pretty irrelevant to any moves to relieve the pressure on Dover - Calais/Dunkerque.

More publicity for the Plymouth crossing would make some people realise that they do not have to deal with traffic snarlups on the M25 to get to Dover. I've met plenty of first time passengers on the Plymouth sailing from the western side of the country who have been gobsmacked at how easy the drive to Plymouth is.

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58 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Given the multiple variables and criteria needed to assess priorities of thousands of trucks per day that strikes me as being rather unlikely. And who would devise and operate such a complex system, particularly in the remaining time available? You can't just pluck people with the necesary skills out of thin air.

The Military have the skills and they are now on standby, I imagine they are planning a system as we speak. It is clear that the free market can do nothing other than bring Kent to a standstill.

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I've met plenty of first time passengers on the Plymouth sailing from the western side of the country who have been gobsmacked at how easy the drive to Plymouth is.

I was referring to freight rather than passenger traffic.

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2 minutes ago, BobCrox said:

More publicity for the Plymouth crossing would make some people realise that they do not have to deal with traffic snarlups on the M25 to get to Dover. I've met plenty of first time passengers on the Plymouth sailing from the western side of the country who have been gobsmacked at how easy the drive to Plymouth is.

I think that is where the gains could be made, educate the normal traveller they do not have to go East to Dover and then drive west in France to get where they want to go.  On Motorhome sites it's surprising how many drive to Dover and then drive southwest right across France to get to Spain and they'll take crossings in the middle of the night to get it when cheaper and not so busy.  If they could get all traffic heading for anywhere west of Paris to look at crossings further West it would certainly help.  Perhaps they should make it cheaper when unsociable arrivals and departures are involved as they do at Dover.

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The Military have the skills and they are now on standby, I imagine they are planning a system as we speak. It is clear that the free market can do nothing other than bring Kent to a standstill.

You underestimate the power of the Politicians who will have brought the whole UK to a standstill!

On what basis would you direct and prioritise traffic anyway?

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3 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

You underestimate the power of the Politicians who will have brought the whole UK to a standstill!

On what basis would you direct and prioritise traffic anyway?

It would be straightforward to publish a priority list of types of traffic to get priority which could include time critical loads for JIT, medicine etc and give less priority to loads needing inspections / lorries from Ireland etc.. Authorizations could be made in advance which would allow for efficient use of drivers / trucks - if they spend their life in queues we would run out of lorries and drivers. It may also mean that unaccompanied trailers get more popular !

If cars have to  book in advance, I don't see why freight can't be made to.

I can't see why the Government would spend money on the Roscoff route if it was not going to manage access to it !

Time will tell.

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Surely this is just another example of the government seeing a potential problem and then applying the wrong solution. If there had ever been a cross channel capacity problem then we would already have seen increased sailings provided by ferry companies at no cost to the UK tax payer. The proposal to increase the number of sailings is only effective if the intention is to use the ferries as additional lorry parks and that would require additional tonnage to create increased frequency. The UK port infrastructure has for the last 45 years been built around minimal checks and that cannot be changed in the available time scale, it will take many years.

 

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I doubt very much if all freight traffic is homogenised. You could give priority through Dover to perishable items but then what when hauliers catch on to the idea of including some perishables with their non perishables to 'jump the queue'?

The whole thing would be an administrative nightmare and I fail to see what specific expertise the army could bring to such a huge undertaking. Their own logistic expertise will be aimed at planning for military operations and on a much smaller scale. Brings a whole new meaning to taking back control by placing a large chunk of the road haulage industry under what would effectively be martial law!

Anyway, as G4rth says, the overall shoreside facilities capacity at UK (and indeed Continental) ports is based on minimal checks and you can't magic up extra land area from nowhere, assuming you have sufficient customs officers avaiable to conduct checks. All the Government can do is to encourage use of currently 'spare' capacity at ports other than Dover.

And as far as extra customs officers are concerned (who need to be trained up), just look at the Government's record on border control staffing levels at major UK airports. Pleanty of E Gates at Gatwick and Heathrow but not enough staff to even cover these properly let alone the main checkout gates.

Edited by cvabishop

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1 minute ago, BobCrox said:

 I've met plenty of first time passengers on the Plymouth sailing from the western side of the country who have been gobsmacked at how easy the drive to Plymouth is.

I think Neil would disagree with that one😂🤣😂

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