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BobCrox

Brexit effect on BF

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Discussion of the re-flagging of the P&O Dover fleet has been moved to the thread on that topic in the Dover forum.  The posts about the media have been left in place as relevant to the BF Twitter feed correcting BBC reports.  That said, it is worth remembering that this thread is about the operational and practical implications of Brexit for BF.  So the media discussion has probably run its course and we can get back to the BF revised timetables that triggered all this. 😀

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Revised timetables issued. Great comms from BF about all the TV and Newspaper garbage. Lots of details about how they are going to run this operation on their part and treat us, the customer. Very reassuring.
I'm sure half the battle is about losing control. We arrange our crossings/holidays etc and we "own" it. Then someone comes along and takes over.

It made me look at my bookings (6) and see how it affects me. Nope, all good so far BUT what I did find was a cheaper crossing and cabin (free) for one trip. Win all round.
Back in control again-sorted.

Think I'll go for that offer of a day in Roscoff in Feb and ease a decent bottle of Red down.

SFD

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I think there may be a flaw. Mind you most things involving May are flawed.

This is a plan to alleviate the chaos which will follow a hard Brexit with the channel ports at a standstill.

So extra traffic will be shoved on to other routes such as Ply Ros by increasing the number of sailings, which in return would require faster turn around in the ports.

Has anyone just spotted a potential problem with this plan....

Rhys

 

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47 minutes ago, Penlan said:

I think there may be a flaw. Mind you most things involving May are flawed.

This is a plan to alleviate the chaos which will follow a hard Brexit with the channel ports at a standstill.

So extra traffic will be shoved on to other routes such as Ply Ros by increasing the number of sailings, which in return would require faster turn around in the ports.

Has anyone just spotted a potential problem with this plan....

Rhys

 

When there is only one ship using each port extra sailings are hardly a problem, Plymouth and Poole and if timed properly shouldn't be a problem at Portsmouth either.

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There are still a lot of Twitter messages on the BF site from people who have not got the message that passengers are not 'getting bumped off' and crossings are 'not being cancelled' despite the damage limitation press release. It's not at the level of vitriol that IF experienced last year with their cancelled W B Yeats sailings but its all out there for people to see and its going to have an impact on customer confidence. Reading some of the comments it's clear that people are reacting without checking the facts or even their spam boxes to see if BF has tried to contact them. Others are worried that their summer sailings will likely be added to the list and not wanting to take the risk of making further bookings until things become clear. The upshot seems to be that Portsmouth to Caen and St Malo might well be even busier than usual and space will be at a premium as many people appear to be switching their bookings as they can be sure those crossings won't be affected. Ed. 

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10 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

There are still a lot of Twitter messages on the BF site from people who have not got the message that passengers are not 'getting bumped off' and crossings are 'not being cancelled' despite the damage limitation press release. It's not at the level of vitriol that IF experienced last year with their cancelled W B Yeats sailings but its all out there for people to see and its going to have an impact on customer confidence. Reading some of the comments it's clear that people are reacting without checking the facts or even their spam boxes to see if BF has tried to contact them. Others are worried that their summer sailings will likely be added to the list and not wanting to take the risk of making further bookings until things become clear. The upshot seems to be that Portsmouth to Caen and St Malo might well be even busier than usual and space will be at a premium as many people appear to be switching their bookings as they can be sure those crossings won't be affected. Ed. 

The big trouble with things like Twitter is the lack of IQ tests given to subscribers before they are allowed to post...

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I can understand why people might be concerned. When we holidayed in France regularly the ferry timings were an integral part of our travel arrangements which included en route overnight stops and return sailings aimed at getting us back home late evening. Changing the timings by just a few hours would have caused quite a bit of inconvenience to say the least and might have resulted in excessive driving times to make connections or additional overnight stops.

It won't apply this year as given all the circumstances including the political unrest we won't be visiting France any time soon and have already made our 2019 holiday arrangements for Italy, Crete and Greek Mainland.

Holidays are supposed to be periods of relaxation, not situations where your transport is in doubt and you might well run into local political demonstrations which cause further hassle. At our age we have got well past the point when we enjoy 'challenges'. Sorry M. Macron.

Edited by cvabishop
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15 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

The upshot seems to be that Portsmouth to Caen and St Malo might well be even busier than usual and space will be at a premium as many people appear to be switching their bookings as they can be sure those crossings won't be affected

I for one changed a  booked  Le Havre crossing in June to an Ouistreham one so I was guaranteed no changes. I think that it is very prudent to book using the assumption that the revised timetable may well be extended.

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I'm hoping the Plymouth Roscoff timetable changes will last a few weeks longer - a 1500 sailing from Plymouth will give me a free day cabin and the 2130 Roscoff arrival will put me into a nice overnight hotel  - for the same sort of price as an overnight cabin on the 2200 overnight sailing and "Please vacate your cabins" before I have had my beauty sleep. I live in hope ! 

 

Edited by wortley

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I would imagine that there are probably two reasons why the timetable changes only go up to mid-May.  Firstly to be more certain that they will be needed (depending on political decelopments).  And secondly to see if they can source extra tonnage to provide the extra crossings needed.  If they can do that (even just on a freight basis), and fulfil their obligations to HMG without disrupting existing sailings, then that would be preferable I’m sure.

From a PR point of view, if they have any intention of changing the summer timings, it would be a big mistake to wait any longer than necessary to make those changes, all the while taking new bookings for sailings they know will change.  So, as I see it, the fact that they haven’t changed them yet implies to me that they are not currently planning on changing them (just adding to them, if anything).  That’s not to say they won’t end up doing it, just that it can’t be in the current plan.

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The enclosed article has some good BF quotes in that highlight that further changes are possible. http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/321889/brittany-ferries-alters-schedules-in-no-deal-brexit-contingency

“The company said that it would assess the situation for the subsequent period, covering the end of May and into June, nearer the time. It means that more bookings may also have to be amended.”

 

Edited by David Williams
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Well that squashes my theory completely!  It's clear from that article that there are no plans to bring in extra tonnage, the post-May timetables will change if it is established nearer the time that there is a need.

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10 hours ago, Paully said:

The big trouble with things like Twitter is the lack of IQ tests given to subscribers before they are allowed to post...

And this particularly moronic contribution rather proves your point Paully:

https://twitter.com/BrittanyFerries/status/1088586480933629954?s=20

It makes you wonder why BF bother with social media. I wouldn't want to have a conversation with someone this daft and ill-informed (either on-line or face-to-face) for fear it might be contagious. Ed. 

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Agreed in principle, social media is really lowest common denominator.  However, unfortunately, it is a necessary evil for customer-facing businesses these days.  People will grumble about you anyway, so you might as well exercise some input/control over the direction of discussion.

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3 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

And this particularly moronic contribution rather proves your point Paully:

https://twitter.com/BrittanyFerries/status/1088586480933629954?s=20

It makes you wonder why BF bother with social media. I wouldn't want to have a conversation with someone this daft and ill-informed (either on-line or face-to-face) for fear it might be contagious. Ed. 

The really worrying thing is that someone somewhere has actually employed a total moron like this......

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3 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

And this particularly moronic contribution rather proves your point Paully:

https://twitter.com/BrittanyFerries/status/1088586480933629954?s=20

It makes you wonder why BF bother with social media. I wouldn't want to have a conversation with someone this daft and ill-informed (either on-line or face-to-face) for fear it might be contagious. Ed. 

Plus I think Stena will be a bit miffed too, has their Cherbourg sailing fell off the website too?

 

11 hours ago, Gareth said:

Well that squashes my theory completely!  It's clear from that article that there are no plans to bring in extra tonnage, the post-May timetables will change if it is established nearer the time that there is a need.

There's the opportunity to hang on to Etretat post July, we know the Visentini can fit and with her cut down pax could come into her own as dedicated freight and driver carrier?

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13 minutes ago, jonno said:

There's the opportunity to hang on to Etretat post July

Etretat is still showing as destoring in July, however using Etretat would only make sense if there was guaranteed work, I would have that thought that the 6 weeks (or so) of extra timetable is the minimum in the contract and that we would only need more if we had a hard brexit and that seems less likely as we go on - it is more likely to be a delayed one !

Besides, hopefully the Etretat is plan B for the unlikely event of Honfleur being delivered late - I note that the Maria Grazio Onarato has still not started sea trials 5 months after launch.

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Post brexit bf ,I can see them making a lot of money out of this chaos that the uk could face in the coming months.a big pay day for bf if there is a no deal ( god forgive)

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4 minutes ago, nodwad said:

Post brexit bf ,I can see them making a lot of money out of this chaos that the uk could face in the coming months

Not sure, if the Ports and authorities can get their act together then not a lot changes. If freight suffers large delays then non urgent lorries are more likely to change to trailer only shipping or short sea containers leaving just the urgent /JIT stuff on traditional routes. I can't see BF coping with too much extra trailer only shipping and they are just about to lose the Pelican !

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1 hour ago, jonno said:

Plus I think There's the opportunity to hang on to Etretat post July, we know the Visentini can fit and with her cut down pax could come into her own as dedicated freight and driver carrier?

There is, although I suspect that (barring late delivery of Honfleur) any retention of Etretat might just be in a freight-only role?

The telling point is the one that comes out of the article that David quoted.  If the only reason that timetable changes have not been published beyond May is that they are “waiting to see what the need is”, and if they are warning that future changes are likely, then that is an indication that their plans for any “need beyond May” will revolve around timetable changes to existing tonnage, not extra tonnage being brought in (or retained).

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1 hour ago, David Williams said:

I note that the Maria Grazio Onarato has still not started sea trials 5 months after launch.

I wouldn't read too much into that, she's a charter just like Alf Pollack. Siem will keep hold of her until Tirrenia need or want her.

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5 minutes ago, Gareth said:

There is, although I suspect that (barring late delivery of Honfleur) any retention of Etretat might just be in a freight-only role?

The telling point is the one that comes out of the article that David quoted.  If the only reason that timetable changes have not been published beyond May is that they are “waiting to see what the need is”, and if they are warning that future changes are likely, then that is an indication that their plans for any “need beyond May” will revolve around timetable changes to existing tonnage, not extra tonnage being brought in (or retained).

Yeah I see that but what extra could they squeeze out of the likes of  the Arm' or Barfy if needs be especially as the freight capacity issue will be compounded by Pelicans return meaning the unaccompanied stuff will begin to transit France rather than sail direct to Spain?

In that scenario She wouldn't be seen as extra tonnage but rather an extension of what they have already. Plus if they could entice a few pax across to Poole for Spain it would release pressure on BDS, the Cap' and Pont... extra deck space at Portsmouth.

It's interesting that France seems to be the sole focal point when Spain will have similar issues too. BF need to juggle the possible delays there with the foreseen influx from Dover.

Slowing down the freight movements to both Bilbao & Santander will have a knock on effect... hard standing at Pompey will remain full rather than see the rapid rotations it does now, It's why the council are looking at using the M275 in a similar way as the M20.

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I was told the very most my sailing from Roscoff to Plymouth in September would change by would be half an hour , it makes sense from a business sense to not change things after May yet but from a holidaymakers point of view it doesn’t sit well.

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I'm surprised there isn't a way for the Spanish crossings to call at either Cherbourg or Roscoff in both directions (even if it's in the middle of the night) to take a few extra freight units if space allows. Ed. 

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33 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

I was told the very most my sailing from Roscoff to Plymouth in September would change by would be half an hour , it makes sense from a business sense to not change things after May yet but from a holidaymakers point of view it doesn’t sit well.

Why?

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