Jump to content
kenw

P&O ship "seized" on Mersey?

Recommended Posts

I've just had a tip that one of the P&O ferries was "seized" in Liverpool by Mersey Docks & Harbour Co.

I don't know if the ship was arrested (legally detained) or whether the port operator was simply declining to handle her until outstanding accounts were paid. IIRC the "refusal of service" procedure was used some years ago by the PLA.

The info comes from a former colleague in Liverpool with only a tenuous link to matters maritime (he runs a haulage firm which delivers to and from the docks). So it may simply be shoreside gossip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, hhvferry said:

It's this story -

Dispute delays P&O ferry, carrying food and medicine, in Liverpool

The big question, to which we can't have an answer outside P&O is whether they can't pay or won't pay.

Is the “sudden presentation” of that sort of bill something that would be routine procedure, or is the presentation of the demand itself indicative of something not being right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I hadn't heard of Peel Ports, the owners of the port of Liverpool,  so I read up the Wilipedie entry about them- right down to the section headed Criticism. Remarkable state of affairs.

Edited by wortley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They also own Liverpool Airport, the aviation part of which I follow closely. I don`t know the rights and wrongs of this dispute and I suspect the fault lies on both sides, but Peel are detested in Liverpool. They, unusually, own the approach roads to John Lennon Airport and have `double red` lines down them with a camera van sat on the roundabout at the airport 24/7 to photograph anyone who stops, for any reason and sends them a whopping fine through the post. Nice they aint...

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the updates,  folks.

Peel Ports is known as one of the UK's least-loved companies, to put it mildly. Without going into details (since a court case is pending) some friends of mine lost a multi-£million deal related to Peel's extensive property business. All of which took the family firm into the red for the first time - and caused much personal distress to the two older generation directors who said they were "forced to break their word" as a result.

 

  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peel Ports, whom P&O are in dispute with, own Birkenhead’s Twelve Quays where the Stena ships sail from — it’s all part of the Mersey Dock & Harbour Company.

I immediately thought Heysham when they mentioned an alternative port, but I think that’s constrained by length and already busy with Stena, Seatruck and IOMSPC in there. Then I looked it up and it’s owned by Peel Ports too.

Mostyn is probably the only choice. Looks like P&O are working on the basis it could be a while before they get their ship back or that relations have completely broken down and they don’t expect to go back.

Given P&O Ferries’ penchant for closing routes, I’m surprised they don’t just give up on their Dublin route.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

both Norbay and sistership Norbank seem to be back on station between Liverpool and Dublin..Problem solved it seems, although what part sending the Norbank to do berthing trials at Mostyn, must remain unknown, I suppose😄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pressure in negotiations presumably.  Good job they managed to get away with doing it without grounding Norbank on the Dee sandbanks! 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gareth said:

Pressure in negotiations presumably.  Good job they managed to get away with doing it without grounding Norbank on the Dee sandbanks! 

presumeably they sent her in ballast😁

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

.... and it continues

A High Court judge has ordered the arrest of a ferry ship which is due to dock in Dublin Port this evening.

The warrant for the arrest of the ship, Norbank, a car passenger and freight ferry, was sought over an alleged debt of €381,000 owed in relation to charter fees on another vessel.

Seatruck Ferries Ltd with registered offices at North Quay, Port of Heysham, Morecambe in Lancashire, UK had sought the arrest warrant.

Counsel for the company James Lawless BL told the High Court the warrant for the arrest of the Dutch registered vessel Norbank was sought in respect of security relating to a claim for the sum of €381,000 which Seatruck Ferries claims it is owed by P&0 European Ferries (Irish Sea) Limited, the owners of Norbank in respect of charterparty hire.

The Norbank travels the Irish Sea between Liverpool and Dublin and is due in Dublin Port at around 5pm this evening.(wed)

The claim relates to the charter of the MV Clipper Pennant to P&0 European Ferries (Irish Sea) Ltd by Seatruck Ferries at a daily rate of €12,500 for a year from November 2019.

It is claimed the €381,000 allegedly owed related hire from April to May and for passenger costs for February 2020.

Counsel told the court the arrest of the Norbank was being sought because P&0 European Ferries (Irish Sea) Ltd owned Norbank and the MV Clipper Pennant was also chartered to P&0 European Ferries (Irish Sea) Ltd.

In an affidavit to the court the solicitor for Seatruck Ferries, Helen Noble said the sums allegedly owed were due for payment on April 8 this year. She said Seatruck Ferries had been notified the MV Clipper Pennant had been detained at Dublin Port over the alleged failure to pay harbour dues. Ms Noble said another vessel chartered or owned by the charterer was allegedly detained at Liverpool Port which it is claimed is due substantial unpaid harbour dues.

Ms Nobel said Seatruck Ferries is very concerned that the sums owed to it will not be paid.

Mr Lawless told the court that a caveat in relation to €30,000 had been received but he said the debt was in excess of that amount which he contended rendered the caveat redundant.

Mr Justice McDonald made the order for the arrest of the Norbank as security for the claim in the proceedings.

 

https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/high-court-orders-arrest-of-ferry-ship-due-in-dublin-port-this-evening-995465.html?fbclid=IwAR2z3SZJQF3PChd6U-17s8SGXVc4wdzyGrJBQi7nMiR96Dywhy20ivGHwa0

Edited by TonyMWeaver
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So was this what the Liverpool detention was all about (nothing to do with Peel Ports), or was it a separate, additional dispute?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

It is claimed the €381,000 allegedly owed related hire from April to May and for passenger costs for February 2020.

Is it normal to pay charter fees (partially) up-front?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Gareth said:

So was this what the Liverpool detention was all about (nothing to do with Peel Ports), or was it a separate, additional dispute?

Who knows, this story was released today so I'm presuming it's a separate incident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever the rights and wrongs, the jitters regarding the continued feasibility of P & O are taking place on both sides of the Irish Sea. That in itself can be a destabilising factor. The fact that other ports or jurisdictions are not, so far, taking similar action might indicate that its just part and not the whole of P & O.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that they are totally different incidents. Although it seems that Seatruck applied for the court issue in part due to Pennant being held at Dublin regarding the Peel Ports issue. They may have set the new stuff today in motion as a way of making sure they got paid for it, due to being worried with what had been going on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Gareth said:

In other words, Clipper believes that P&O is in trouble.

Hi Gareth, presumably you meant to say Seatruck instead of Clipper.   And yes, I would agree.  Seatruck was worried and said as much during their application to the High Court in Dublin yesterday.  Their barrister said, "Seatruck Ferries is very concerned that the sums owed to it will not be paid".

The latest published accounts for P&0 European Ferries (Irish Sea) Ltd look grim.  Net assets are negative by £79.5M.  Most likely it survives due to ongoing support from the wider P&O group.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The panic might have been brought forward, as well, by the parlous financial state of DP World (Dubai), who are presently busy de listing from the stock exchange and are the owners of P & O Ferries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Buzzbee said:

Hi Gareth, presumably you meant to say Seatruck instead of Clipper.  

Yes, sorry.  Meant Seatruck.

The downfall of P&O might be one good thing to come out of all this.  I wonder who might be in the market to buy them if the ferry business gets put up for sale.  Whose “sort of thing” is the package of routes contained in the P&O network?

Stena?  Hull may be of interest.  Dover Straits wasn’t their thing, and Irish Sea would be a conflict (at least on the North Channel).  The Dublin route might suit them.

DFDS?  Conflicts at Dover and Hull/Newcastle may make it a non-starter from a competition point of view.

Brittany Ferries?  Couldn’t afford it even if they wanted to.  And probably wouldn’t want to, as none of the current P&O routes fits into the BF raison d’etre.

Irish Ferries?  Could be an interesting opportunity to diversify, but they probably can’t afford it either.

Cobelfret?  Not into passengers.

A resurgence of LD Lines?  Perish the thought.

Any other well established, well-capitolised Baltic or Mediterranean companies with a strong reputation that might be interested in spreading their tentacles to UK services?

Difficult to see anyone wanting to acquire P&O Ferries as a going entity if it folds.  Maybe the routes could be sold off on a route by route basis.  I could see Stena acquiring Hull, Irish Ferries being interested in Liverpool-Dublin.  Not sure who would be remotely interested in the two short-sea routes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...