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The Ferry Man

P&O Tilbury - Calais (new route)

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9 hours ago, The Ferry Man said:

Not quite that far north, but P&O are stating an intention for a Tilbury to Calais freight service...

 

(Posted on Dover Ferries Forum: http://dfe.boards.net/thread/808/calais-tilbury?page=1&scrollTo=14114, www.facebook.com/groups/223856147984161/permalink/880476475655455/)

How interesting, thanks FM.

There is so much about this to discuss that I’ll move it to its own thread.

The obvious one is why freight drivers passing Tilbury would opt to stop off for a once per day ferry crossing that will take probably 7-8 hours, in preference for driving an hour and a half further on to get one of the 90 minute sailings from Dover that depart roughly every 20 minutes.  But I’ll leave that for others!

Suffice it to say, it may be that the intention is to take unaccompanied freight, and to route that away from Dover may be no bad thing.  Tilbury is well set up for that, and clearly P&O already operate out of both Tilbury and Calais.

The other main point of interest is the operational one.  Which vessel?  European Seaway would seem the superficially obvious choice - but I am not aware of any means by which she would be able to load her upper deck at Tilbury.  

But I am very interested in how they will manage the linkspan arrangements.  Calais berths are configured in the unique Dover Straits / North Channel arrangement where the bridge drops from shoreside onto the ferry, and Tilbury is configured like everywhere else - ramp drops from ferry onto shore.  (This was the reason Zeebrugge is no longer capable of taking Dover ferries - because there are no longer any Dover-compatible linkspans at Zeebrugge).  So....which ship will be suitable for loading at both Tilbury and Calais?  If a through-loader then one end could be configured for one port and the other for the other.  But a stern-only loader would find the linkspan arrangements a major problem.

All of which leads me to wonder whether P&O’s intention might be to use the old car carrier berth at Calais, instead of the main ferry port?  It might make sense to keep unaccompanied freight away from the main ferryport?  Then again, is the old car carrier berth still usable after its encounter with Pride of Kent?

Plenty of food for discussion.

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Tilbury Port are building a new roro terminal at the old tilbury power station [named as tilbury2] not sure when it will be completed . Ian

 

Edited by ian234
additional wording

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I don't think that the car carrier berth which was hit by the Kent is in use, pretty sure one of the piles is still bent. However there is some new single linkspan berths at the far end of the harbour, where the old Hoverspeed seacat berth is.

Not sure if Tilbury would have a double deck link span like Dover-Calais, since Boulogne/Calais/Dunkerque would be pretty much the only destinations for such a vessel.

Of course, the European Endeavour would have been perfect - loading ramp aft, bow has Calais fitting.

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12 hours ago, Gareth said:

C'est intéressant, merci FM.

Il y a tellement de choses à discuter que je vais le faire passer à son propre fil.

La raison la plus évidente est la raison pour laquelle les transporteurs de fret qui passent près de Tilbury choisiraient de s’arrêter pour une traversée en ferry une fois par jour, ce qui prendra probablement entre 7 et 8 heures. Dover qui part environ toutes les 20 minutes. Mais je laisserai ça aux autres!

Disons simplement que l’intention est peut-être de prendre des marchandises non accompagnées, et de les acheminer loin de Douvres n’est pas une mauvaise chose. Tilbury est bien préparé pour cela, et il est clair que P & O opère déjà à partir de Tilbury et de Calais.

L’autre point d’intérêt principal est le point de vue opérationnel. Quel bateau? La voie maritime européenne semblerait un choix superficiel - mais je ne connais aucun moyen par lequel elle pourrait charger son pont supérieur à Tilbury.  

Mais je suis très intéressé par la façon dont ils gèreront les accords Linkspan. Les postes à quai de Calais sont configurés selon un agencement unique, le pont descendant du rivage sur le ferry, et Tilbury est configuré comme partout ailleurs: la rampe descend du ferry au rivage. (C’est la raison pour laquelle Zeebrugge n’est plus capable de prendre les ferries Dover - car il n’ya plus de liens compatibles avec Dover à Zeebrugge). Alors .... quel navire pourra-t-il être chargé à Tilbury et à Calais? Si un chargeur en transit, une extrémité peut être configurée pour un port et l’autre pour l’autre. Mais un chargeur uniquement à l'arrière trouverait que les arrangements de liaison étaient un problème majeur.

Ce qui m'amène à me demander si l'intention de P & O serait peut-être d'utiliser l'ancien poste de transporteur de voitures à Calais au lieu du port de ferry principal. Il pourrait être judicieux de garder les marchandises non accompagnées à l'écart du port de ferry principal? Encore une fois, l’ancienne couchette de porte-voitures est-elle encore utilisable après sa rencontre avec Pride of Kent?

Beaucoup de nourriture pour la discussion.

At Calais we have two ramps. One on which the Pride of Kent made an accident. and another next to the former Seacat berth. It would be useful with the arrival by unaccompanied trailer train

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I never knew my French was so good! 🤣

Thanks both; sounds like that inner berth by the old Seacat terminal may be the answer.  (Assuming Seaway is not the answer to the vessel question, in which case I guess she could use one of the main ferryport berths).

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I wouldn't assume that a RoRo will be used. P&O use a small container ship on Hull-Zeebrugge alongside the passenger vessels and for a short time also used one on Teesport-Zeebrugge.

P&O Ferries are slowly but surely moving more towards becoming a logistics company with increased cooperation and coordination with P&O Ferrymasters to give unaccompanied freight customers a door to door service. They have been running train services to Zeebrugge from Eastern Europe in addition to traditional rail operators services from a variety of locations into their recently expanded terminal and seem to be a major player in the increase in trains from Teesport.

There seems to be a plenty of freight space around the conventional berths on the north side of Calais Harbour and it's rail connected.  It wouldn't surprise me if that is where the new services runs from.

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Reports suggest this service will begin by 15th September. @Timmy suggestion of P&O using freight ships is probably closer to the mark if not accurate as part of the Calais improvements and expansion has included enhanced multi modal berths for freight shipping. 

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