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Post-Brexit Ferry Contract


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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54523758

 

Four ferry firms have landed government contracts worth a total of £77.6m to provide post-Brexit freight capacity.

Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O Ferries and Stena Line will have the job of ensuring medical supplies and other vital goods continue to get to the UK.

The government says it wants a smooth flow of freight "whatever the outcome of negotiations with the EU",

The contracts will be in place for up to six months after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

The additional capacity will be on quieter ferry routes between mainland Europe and UK ports in Felixstowe, Harwich, Hull, Newhaven, Poole, Portsmouth, Teesport and Tilbury.

Last year, the government paid ferry companies £87m for similar contracts, which were not needed in the end because Brexit was postponed.

One of last year's contracts, worth £13.8m, was paid to Seaborne Freight, a company which had never run a ferry service. Seaborne Freight recently went bust.

The transport secretary at the time, Chris Grayling, faced calls to resign over the Seaborne debacle.

His successor, Grant Shapps, said: "As the transition period comes to an end, we are putting the necessary measures in place to safeguard the smooth and successful flow of freight.

"Securing these contracts ensures that irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations, life-saving medical supplies and other critical goods can continue to enter the UK from the moment we leave the EU."

 

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Brittany Ferries statement on Department for Transport (DfT) contract

“Brittany Ferries is pleased to have won freight contracts with the Department for Transport (DfT). The contracts guarantee space on services connecting Le Havre with Portsmouth and Cherbourg with Poole, starting in January 2021. The company says the news reinforces the value of an extensive and established route network stretching beyond short-sea (Dover-Calais).

It comes as Brittany Ferries strengthens its freight offering welcoming new ship Galicia to Portsmouth for the first time today (13 October). Galicia will enter service in December 2020, serving freight and passenger traffic.”

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53 minutes ago, Jim said:

 

"Securing these contracts ensures that irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations, life-saving medical supplies and other critical goods can continue to enter the UK from the moment we leave the EU."

 

I always thought the problem was customs processing rather than available space... unless at some point the government has a plan to exempt critical goods and use this space to expedite their crossing of the channel.

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In a way then, Brexit can be thanked somewhat for helping BF through a really tough Covid time. That's a first positive thing about it i've heard in a while!

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4 minutes ago, nick hall said:

And a commitment to the Le Havre service. You have to wonder if this contract is what makes the service viable, especially with so few tourists.

I imagine you're not far off. BF wouldn't want to loose the route, but Etretat could only take 375 passengers tops, and this year is dead. Hopefully 2021 is better, but Le Havre will never be a busy passenger route in the way Caen is really I don't think...

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57 minutes ago, Jim said:

I always thought the problem was customs processing rather than available space... unless at some point the government has a plan to exempt critical goods and use this space to expedite their crossing of the channel.

I believe at one time they said that was what they were intending to do. Surprised there is no mention of subsidies for the Spanish routes a lot of food comes that way.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/12/brexit-full-border-controls-on-goods-entering-uk-will-not-apply-until-july-2021

 

Edited by Rattler43
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48 minutes ago, The Ferry Man said:

When is Cotentin available...?

And will Barfleur get hauled out of her flowery dell to join her?  Hope she is doing just her usual freight and talk of her conversion is a dead duck now.

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1 hour ago, hf_uk said:

In a way then, Brexit can be thanked somewhat for helping BF through a really tough Covid time. That's a first positive thing about it i've heard in a while!

Monsieur Mathieu says "merci beaucoup" to the UK Government

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1 hour ago, ZinedineBiscan said:

Monsieur Mathieu says "merci beaucoup" to the UK Government

Well, it's certainly good news at a not-so-good time. What's not clear is if the funding under this is a big up-front purchase, or some kind of agreement to reserve X amount of space and release it if not needed. The headlines always tend to like the bigger numbers involved.

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2 hours ago, Jim said:

 

Well, it's certainly good news at a not-so-good time. What's not clear is if the funding under this is a big up-front purchase, or some kind of agreement to reserve X amount of space and release it if not needed. The headlines always tend to like the bigger numbers involved.

Without real money, I can’t see them restarting 2 routes in January.

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Haven't we been told that freight alone can not allow them to run a service profitably? Therefore they will have to either use dedicated freight ships at near-maximum capacity or take passengers to offset the costs and make it economically viable. Ed. 

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On 13/10/2020 at 20:01, Cabin-boy said:

Haven't we been told that freight alone can not allow them to run a service profitably?

Does it need to profitable per se? Covering costs at this point would be good, or even just minimising losses. As @Jim says we haven't seen the contract terms so we don't know how the financial aid is structured. I doubt it is a straightforward wodge of cash upfront though as under the new Freight Capacity Framework there are termination cost limitations implying the contract can be terminated early.

There are other benefits of the financial support like keeping more people employed in the quiet times, qualifications valid etc.

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4 hours ago, LHCity said:

Which boat will be affected in Le Havre / Portsmouth ?

Barfleur if Cotentin returns to Cherbourg ?

 

 

For information, DFDS in Dieppe reactivates a 3rd rotation

Better for Cotentin to do Le Havre surely? She's faster, if that makes any difference for a longer route? Presume it will end up being one of the Visentini's anyway...

Are all the ships in warm layup? 

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4 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Are all the ships in warm layup? 

Good question. I'd assume, as they gave very clear restart dates, that they would be in cold layup and could be moved by tugs if the need arose. Ed. 

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2 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Good question. I'd assume, as they gave very clear restart dates, that they would be in cold layup and could be moved by tugs if the need arose. I also assume they switch everything off totally when in dry dock for refits so it's not difficult, but perhaps when still afloat there are added complications. Someone will know. Ed. 

 

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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

 

I think there's generally one engine running in dry dock to keep all the systems running. I had assumed that this might be the case for the Le Havre vessels too (NEX excepted). I did wonder whether Barfleur might have be in cold layup though. 

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7 hours ago, Tumnus2010 said:

Presume it will end up being one of the Visentini's anyway...

 

Not sure, Nigel mentioned that Galicia is replacing Etretat in the fleet.

On my recent Caen crossings, there were lorries on deck 5 with the cars, they may end up needing more freight capacity this winter anyway.

 

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1 hour ago, Tumnus2010 said:

I think there's generally one engine running in dry dock to keep all the systems running. I had assumed that this might be the case for the Le Havre vessels too (NEX excepted). I did wonder whether Barfleur might have be in cold layup though. 

Nope, they need shore power, because in dry dock there is no water to run the engine cooling systems.

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