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Brexit effect on BF

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I think we need to wait and see. BF are currently playing with the Poole-Cherbourg timetable and for me if they were so concerned they wouldn't be pulling Barfleur for her routine maintenance so early into the supposedly peak disruptive period.

Before the new year the only real volume increase I can see so far are CF's midweek rotations to Le Havre.

As for Connemara being used for Brexit flexibility, I don't really buy it, she seems to be being utilised more for maintenance cover for Barfleur, Etretat & BDS and will ultimately replace BDS prior to Galicia's arrival. I tend to lean more towards Gareth's assumption of BF bringing in freight only tonnage, or retaining Bore Bay perhaps when Pelican returns.

For me November 2020 will see Connemara return to Cork, Galicia take over CF's timetable and CF take over the Connemara/BDS rotations.

 

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6 hours ago, jonno said:

I think we need to wait and see. BF are currently playing with the Poole-Cherbourg timetable and for me if they were so concerned they wouldn't be pulling Barfleur for her routine maintenance so early into the supposedly peak disruptive period.

Before the new year the only real volume increase I can see so far are CF's midweek rotations to Le Havre.

As for Connemara being used for Brexit flexibility, I don't really buy it, she seems to be being utilised more for maintenance cover for Barfleur, Etretat & BDS and will ultimately replace BDS prior to Galicia's arrival. I tend to lean more towards Gareth's assumption of BF bringing in freight only tonnage, or retaining Bore Bay perhaps when Pelican returns.

For me November 2020 will see Connemara return to Cork, Galicia take over CF's timetable and CF take over the Connemara/BDS rotations.

 

Not sure Galicia will perfectly replicate Caps timetable, will she be able to complete 3 round trips per week?

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Brittany Ferries downplays fears of Brexit freight chaos in Portsmouth

Portsmouth News (October 3rd 2019) 15:52

FEARS Portsmouth’s port will be ‘overwhelmed’ by hundreds of lorries in the event of a no-deal Brexit have been downplayed by a ferry firm.

Bosses at Brittany Ferries insisted the company is shoring up its plans to avoid the port becoming swamped by freight if Britain crashes out of the European Union on October 31.

The company is one of eight travel firms bidding for a lucrative government contract to import vital medicines into the UK after Brexit. It comes after the government warned up to 75 per cent of the 500 or so lorries arriving to Portsmouth could be turned away for not having the right paperwork.

Nigel Wonnacott, group head of external communications at Brittany Ferries, insisted this figure was a ‘worst case scenario’ and unlikely to happen. He said: ‘We don’t want to set too many hares running and terrify people that it will be inevitable that there will be chaos in Portsmouth. There’s sufficient planning in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.’ But he added: ‘If there were no communication campaigns then yes, one could assume a worst-case scenario of 75 per cent.’

Authorities have been scrambling to ready the city for the prospect of a no-deal Brexit causing chaos at the port. Checkpoints will be placed near Winchester to ensure lorries have the right documentation to sail from Portsmouth.

While Portsmouth City Council has splashed out more than £1m to create a new lorry park in Tipner West and fund a traffic management plan to avoid queuing traffic clogging the M275.

Brittany Ferries has issued its own warnings to get customers ready for Brexit. But Mr Wonnacott said the firm was reluctant to send out ‘more direct information and advice’ until the government announced its final Brexit position. ‘We can only hit the button, with more direct information and clear advice, when we know what is happening with Brexit,’ he added. ‘There could be a very strong and detailed communication plan in the last week before Brexit where this happens.’

Questioned on whether he felt a week would be enough time to get the message out, Mr Wonnacott insisted: ‘Absolutely. One week will be enough. ‘You’ve got to remember it won’t just be us that will be communicating, the government will be too.’

 

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On 21/09/2019 at 13:04, Gareth said:

Fair enough - but again, that reinforces my theory that they will bring in extra tonnage rather than messing around with the published timetables.

After Brexit there will be fewer imports and exports to Europe and fewer tourist passengers too. Why would the company need extra tonnage? 

 

 

Edited by wortley

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21 minutes ago, wortley said:

After Brexit there will be fewer imports and exports to Europe and fewer tourist passengers too. Why would the company need extra tonnage? 

The context of the discussion is to do with how BF may respond to HMG’s new “extra sailings” contracts.  If you read my comments in full, and in context, you will realise that my point is to do with the fact that in my view BF will either have nothing to do with it or will try to accommodate it without disrupting their published passenger schedules.

Whether there will actually be an increase or decrease in traffic is irrelevant to that discussion - that’s not BF’s problem, it’s HMG’s (while those contracts for extra sailings are in force).

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Ah yes, the government, let's not forget them. It's quite possible they will be stupid enough to pay big money to charter extra ships to cope with reduced traffic. But on the other hand Mr Grayling has been put out on gardening leave so there may be deeper thinking this time round. 

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Yes, this time they are expecting the ferry companies to be ready to act at next to no notice!  They won’t be issuing the contracts until they know they will be needed.

That’s why I think BF’s natural inclination will be to want nothing to do with it.

But they will have to weigh that instinct against the risk that if they don’t take a contract then someone else will - on their territory.  It’s an unenviable decision for them.  But if they do go with it, then I don’t think they will want to repeat the alienation of their loyal customer base by messing around with the sailing times again.  I think they’ve learnt that the PR fall-out from that is not worth it.  So if they do go with it (and, after all, the purpose of the extra sailings is entirely freight-orientated) then the only feasible way of doing so is to bring in extra freight tonnage.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

But they will have to weigh that instinct against the risk that if they don’t take a contract then someone else will - on their territory.  It’s an unenviable decision for them.  But if they do go with it, then I don’t think they will want to repeat the alienation of their loyal customer base by messing around with the sailing times again.  I think they’ve learnt that the PR fall-out from that is not worth it.  So if they do go with it (and, after all, the purpose of the extra sailings is entirely freight-orientated) then the only feasible way of doing so is to bring in extra freight tonnage.

I could see this as an opportunity for BF to be involved in a way acting as an agent to another carrier. This would allow another company to provide the ship and crew and BF provides all the handling and services at port. In fact they could then schedule activity when berths are free of BF ships. In away its win/win for BF if it can sweeten its passengers, say with reduced fares etc. Even crewing the ships come to mind!

It may be that this "extra" work will be short lived anyway. No risk to BF.

Bye

Stu

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If the contract, long or short notice, is lucrative BF will make it happen. That`s how business works...Sure they`ll suck for a few complaints but some whinges on Twitter does not a crisis make. They generally get more about dogs, but look how quick that space sells out.

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Short term gain versus long term reputational damage is a fine balancing act, and which way one would lean in any given situation would be a function of the details.  How much gain versus how much damage.  And how much damage would be assessed in the context of the cumulative effects of the damage already sustained by the last timetable changes and the problems with Pont Aven.  It’s not a simple equation, and I could see circumstances in which BF would conclude that the benefits would be insufficient.

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6 minutes ago, jonno said:

I don't really understand why this is still a topic, nothing is happening this month or any other.

It’s only sprung to life because I was quoted out of context this morning.

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19 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Questioned on whether he felt a week would be enough time to get the message out, Mr Wonnacott insisted: ‘Absolutely. One week will be enough. ‘You’ve got to remember it won’t just be us that will be communicating, the government will be too.’

I wish I shared Mr Wonnacott's trust in HMG.

 

5 hours ago, straightfeed said:

say with reduced fares etc

Are you serious Straightfeed? 

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7 hours ago, alleeganger10 said:

 

Reduced fares etc.

Are you serious Straightfeed? 

Why not? It is the low season coming up after all. My point was that that there could be rich pickings to be made from HMGs position in providing a system to cover movement  of goods over the leaving period whenever that comes.

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7 hours ago, straightfeed said:

Why not? It is the low season coming up after all. My point was that that there could be rich pickings to be made from HMGs position in providing a system to cover movement  of goods over the leaving period whenever that comes.

Fares are always cheaper outside school holidays and summer. Service is also reduced, the staff even use “c’est l’Hiver “ as an excuse. But when has BF ever reduced it prices? 

The poor Farmers of St Pol need to make a profit after all.

Anyway time will tell.
 

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If I am reading this correctly, the Brexit contracts are guaranteed capacity on existing sailings:-

https://brittanyferriesnewsroom.com/new-no-deal-freight-capacity-contract-confirmed-today/

Brittany Ferries is pleased that it has been selected to provide guaranteed freight capacity on three of its routes:

  • Portsmouth – Caen
  • Portsmouth – Le Havre
  • Poole-Cherbourg

Brittany Ferries UK managing director John Napton says:

“Brittany Ferries is pleased that it has been selected to provide guaranteed freight capacity on three routes. We have the flexibility in both our fleet and route network to allow us to help UK government with the shipment of critical products like medicines in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

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I am praying they reinstate the overnighters from Poole again as before.  They suited me perfectly years ago before they stopped them, really enjoyed them.  I know that extra crossings are Brexit related but I found them a lot easier than the overnight return.  Really enjoyed my last trip, (would have done a couple more had it not been down to circumstances beyond my control at home).

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6 minutes ago, Jim said:

"Smart" seems to consist of hiring extra staff and painting lines on the floor then!

The 'Smart' bit is deciding what line the driver needs to follow and telling them when they are still on the ship !

It is actually a good idea and I wish that passport control at both ends would do intelligent pre clearing of our passports so that they don't spend all the time on their computers !

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8 minutes ago, Jim said:

"Smart" seems to consist of hiring extra staff and painting lines on the floor then!

A million euros to slap some green and orange paint on the floor! I'd have done it for half that. I really must register to be sure I get sent these tenders next time. Ed. 

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4 minutes ago, David Williams said:

The 'Smart' bit is deciding what line the driver needs to follow and telling them when they are still on the ship !

It is actually a good idea and I wish that passport control at both ends would do intelligent pre clearing of our passports so that they don't spend all the time on their computers !

There's only so much you can do with passport data - end of the day an eyeball check by a human still achieves things the technology can't.

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3 minutes ago, Jim said:

There's only so much you can do with passport data - end of the day an eyeball check by a human still achieves things the technology can't.

Coming into most airports my passport is now checked electronically, including the photo match. Most of the wanted list matching etc.. is done whilst in the air.

I am not suggesting E Gates would work at ports without considerable investment, however it would be quicker  if the database lookup is done whilst on the ship and all they had to do at the border is to check that the passport is pre approved and that the photo matches.

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