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New Routes Ireland - St Malo / Roscoff


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Few pics of Armorique arriving in Rosslare from Rosslare Europort twitter

My children also help to keep the Bay of St. Malo free of sand by putting as much of it as possible in the car every time we visit Normandy. Ed

I think we can safely say it is news if the President of the company has announced it   It looks like the President of the Brittany region jumped the gun a bit and then Jean-Marc Roue joined in.

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3 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I understand that Rosslare harbour is still owned by the UK, perhaps it is time for some more harbour fees.

Rosslare is a 50% Stena, 50% Irish Rail joint venture (same as Fishguard). Stena operates Fishguard, while Irish Rail operates Rosslare.

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47 minutes ago, lg12 said:

Roscoff isn't any closer to Spain than Cherbourg or Calais/Dunkirk. 

Example of Barcelona: Roscoff (1300km), Cherbourg (1325km), Dunkirk (1330km),

 

Barcelona is only one possible location in an otherwise large country.

What about Madrid? Just over 1300km from Roscoff, Cherbourg or Le Havre. From Calais: 1550km

Murcia, virtually located in the world largest green house (the plastic sea): more or less 1700km from these 3 ports. Calais: approx. 1900km

This means that a lorry leaving Spain will have a shorter distance to Roscoff, even shorter to St-Malo, and a rather shorter crossing time to Ireland. This a positive for fresh products. The absence of tolls between Nantes and Roscoff/St-Malo/Cherbourg is also a plus when compared with Le Havre or Calais.

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9 minutes ago, jonno said:

Rosslare for me seems more realistic, the port has always been Irelands sleeping giant. Road links are improving yet again, a lot more hard standing in the pipeline, longer and improved berths plus the final phase will include a new terminal.

I agree with you in terms of medium-term potential. In the short-term, I was thinking that Dublin and Rosslare may be saturated with French services and there could be an opportunity for BF to capture the slightly different Cork and Munster market.

There isn't a whole lot in BF's favour right now: smaller non freight orientated ship (more expensive to operate per transported unit), lower frequency, Roscoff (out of the way)/St Malo (not anymore convenient than Cherbourg). I suppose subsidies from region will help quite a bit and Irish hauliers will benefit the most.

 

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3 minutes ago, crechbleiz said:

Barcelona is only one possible location in an otherwise large country.

What about Madrid? Just over 1300km from Roscoff, Cherbourg or Le Havre. From Calais: 1550km

Murcia, virtually located in the world largest green house (the plastic sea): more or less 1700km from these 3 ports. Calais: approx. 1900km

This means that a lorry leaving Spain will have a shorter distance to Roscoff, even shorter to St-Malo, and a rather shorter crossing time to Ireland. This a positive for fresh products. The absence of tolls between Nantes and Roscoff/St-Malo/Cherbourg is also a plus when compared with Le Havre or Calais.

I picked Barcelona at random but you are right. The main competition for this discussion is probably with Cherbourg (I put in Calais/Dunkirk for the sake of a landbridge comparison) but there really isn't much of an advantage for BF from Roscoff/St Malo compared to existing services from Cherbourg.

According to a truck route planner: Murcia-Cherbourg: 1,748.0 km, 27h14 m , 4 driving days. I doubt many hauliers will plan a 1700km journey around a once or twice weekly ferry service from Roscoff or St Malo.

Also, how much of Ireland's fruit&veg are actually imported on accompanied freight driven from Spain?
 

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36 minutes ago, crechbleiz said:

Barcelona is only one possible location in an otherwise large country.

What about Madrid? Just over 1300km from Roscoff, Cherbourg or Le Havre. From Calais: 1550km

Murcia, virtually located in the world largest green house (the plastic sea): more or less 1700km from these 3 ports. Calais: approx. 1900km

This means that a lorry leaving Spain will have a shorter distance to Roscoff, even shorter to St-Malo, and a rather shorter crossing time to Ireland. This a positive for fresh products. The absence of tolls between Nantes and Roscoff/St-Malo/Cherbourg is also a plus when compared with Le Havre or Calais.

Which is all very well until you read the EU's directive to remove 50% of the HGV's transiting France by 2025. It's why they're spending billions on the three major seaports on the Northern coast of Spain, the rail network, and the roads leading to them.

There's a lot of information in the Gijon thread.

I wonder whether BF are looking at the new logistics hubs growing along the more western corridors. For instance there are plans for the surrounding areas of Rennes, adjacent to PSA, the airport and the rail terminal.

Le Havre would have been the perfect western channel port to serve the E-Valley build which will arguably be one of the largest hubs in Europe but it's designed to use the new canal network linking Cambrai to the inner networks of Europe. The canal was due to be completed in 2023 but it's now delayed until 2028. This maybe why BF are having a re think?

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2 hours ago, lg12 said:

I agree with you in terms of medium-term potential. In the short-term, I was thinking that Dublin and Rosslare may be saturated with French services and there could be an opportunity for BF to capture the slightly different Cork and Munster market.

There isn't a whole lot in BF's favour right now: smaller non freight orientated ship (more expensive to operate per transported unit), lower frequency, Roscoff (out of the way)/St Malo (not anymore convenient than Cherbourg). I suppose subsidies from region will help quite a bit and Irish hauliers will benefit the most.

 

It's one of the reasons why I believe their plan in the first instance is to simply bring forward Armorique's start day.

Is there enough surrounding Cork and Munster to satisfy the needs of BF?

Cork can say what they like regarding the ferries, I particularly enjoyed the Vigo nonsense but... the port made the conscious decision not to improve the ferry facilities in favour of unaccompanied freight & TEU's, a Visentini is the best they can hope for in terms of heavy vehicle lane metres but that will lessen what they offer passengers.

For me If BF/SOMABRET want a piece of the real action rather than a niche fairly limited fresh food route they have to consider moving all services to Rosslare. The port would also get a true cruise ferry service back which has been lacking since Oscar Wilde departed to spend her senior years sunning herself on the Med'.

St Malo streets aren't really built to handle 100+ HGV's every other day, the lanes and junctions are narrow.

Roscoff has a Rosslare feel to it, you're onto open roads fairly swiftly... ( if you're not distracted by a big red bus!😁) and as @Fine Whine highlights the region has spent nearly €7m in order to accommodate a larger volume of freight traffic.

Lastly, I don't buy into this so called rivalry between Brittany & Normandy that some advocate. BF aren't about to begin robbing Peter to pay Paul, they won't jeopardise one component of their business model just to satisfy another and they both have to pay BAI to operate the tonnage anyway. The business is there to satisfy all three or they simply wouldn't bother.

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19 hours ago, jonno said:

 

Lastly, I don't buy into this so called rivalry between Brittany & Normandy that some advocate. BF aren't about to begin robbing Peter to pay Paul, they won't jeopardise one component of their business model just to satisfy another and they both have to pay BAI to operate the tonnage anyway. The business is there to satisfy all three or they simply wouldn't bother.

We have heard the President of the Brittany region's comments about "Brexit adjustment funding" so you will do just that if Paul pays you to rob Peter!!

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It's all speculation at the moment again, the reason I haven't posted anything about the Ireland - Roscoff/St Malo service yet is because it's not official.

All I have read is news articles from various French press sources and copied onto groups. If there was any truth in it, BF will send out the press release shortly, my guess it will be before the end of this week.

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26 minutes ago, RickOShea said:

We have heard the President of the Brittany region's comments about "Brexit adjustment funding" so you will do just that if Paul pays you to rob Peter!!

It is not just Brittany vs Normandy, we may find less ships to the UK and more to Ireland at the end of this.

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10 minutes ago, David Williams said:

 we may find less ships to the UK and more to Ireland at the end of this.

I think that's inevitable.

It's exactly where those cuts and increases end up that remains to be seen.

The reports reaching me are that increasingly traffic is flowing with fewer and fewer issues on both ROI - GB and GB - France.  So as that message gets out, combined with the French introducing a requirement for Ireland origin drivers to have a negative Covid test from tonight, we will see the start of some traffic coming back to the Landbridge.

How much comes back and how much stays?

Nobody knows yet.

As I have said repeatedly, some capacity reductions are inevitable on UK routes and some increases on Ireland - France but it's highly unlikely the situation will be as radical as looks right now.

I actually read an interesting post on a Facebook group yesterday and it basically said - Irish freight on UK roads doesn't actually help the UK economy very much and it's true.  Obviously if a lot of ferry routes disappeared it wouldn't be good for the UK economy but it did make me think there is another dimension to this about pressure on GB roads, pollution etc.

Supply chains shifting is another matter entirely....

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On 26/01/2021 at 15:06, Gareth said:

Yes, I wondered if the choice of ports might have more to do with Breton  politics than commercial need.  Especially as the Brittany ports are all closed down at the moment and the previous attempts at running Cork-St Malo did not last long.  Really, Le Havre would make more commercial sense - I wonder if the previous thoughts about running to Le Havre fell precisely because of the internal politics.

Not to make it off topic, regarding Le Havre, there is a press conference tomorrow from the port authorities. It will be a question of clarifying the modalities for opening a new route to Ireland. If Brittany Ferries makes the noise run, it is because a very serious competitor could well position itself in Le Havre if Brittany Ferries does not. It is not excluded that the two companies share the route, but this could have an impact on the schedules of LH / Portsmouth, hence the delay in publishing the schedules after Barfleur. That's the info I've got

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23 hours ago, lg12 said:

I picked Barcelona at random but you are right. The main competition for this discussion is probably with Cherbourg (I put in Calais/Dunkirk for the sake of a landbridge comparison) but there really isn't much of an advantage for BF from Roscoff/St Malo compared to existing services from Cherbourg.

According to a truck route planner: Murcia-Cherbourg: 1,748.0 km, 27h14 m , 4 driving days. I doubt many hauliers will plan a 1700km journey around a once or twice weekly ferry service from Roscoff or St Malo.

Also, how much of Ireland's fruit&veg are actually imported on accompanied freight driven from Spain?
 

I think Le Havre and Saint Malo are better positioned than Cherbourg for Ireland. Road links are better. Brittany Ferries could carve out a large part of the market by letting competitors share Cherbourg and instead expanding into Le Havre and Saint Malo. The opening of Roscoff/Rosslare/St Malo is a political will of the Brittany region. It forced Brittany Ferries to do so, with arguably financial support.

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As the pressure on COVID tests decrease, pressure on customs will increase. The UK (and Ireland) will only increase full customs controls and document requirements by the middle of this year. 

I've posted about this before but the borders of the EU result in substantial delays for hauliers (and borders elsewhere in greater pains). Even Switzerland (excellent checkpoint infrastructure, an advanced IT solution) has an average truck delay of 90 minutes. This is without the ferry factor of dozens of trucks rolling off minutes apart. 

It probably won't result in many hours of delays in normal circumstances, but it will certainly not be a case of roll off a ferry/a Eurotunnel shuttle and hit the road. 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, LHCity said:

I think Le Havre and Saint Malo are better positioned than Cherbourg for Ireland. Road links are better. Brittany Ferries could carve out a large part of the market by letting competitors share Cherbourg and instead expanding into Le Havre and Saint Malo. The opening of Roscoff/Rosslare/St Malo is a political will of the Brittany region. It forced Brittany Ferries to do so, with arguably financial support.

I agree with Le Havre being better positioned, but I don't see a huge difference between Saint Malo and Cherbourg. Picking the random example of Liege (because it is on the road to many destinations in the Netherlands and Germany) to Saint Malo - 704km, Cherbourg - 658km, Le Havre - 466km.

 

36 minutes ago, LHCity said:

Not to make it off topic, regarding Le Havre, there is a press conference tomorrow from the port authorities. It will be a question of clarifying the modalities for opening a new route to Ireland. If Brittany Ferries makes the noise run, it is because a very serious competitor could well position itself in Le Havre if Brittany Ferries does not. It is not excluded that the two companies share the route, but this could have an impact on the schedules of LH / Portsmouth, hence the delay in publishing the schedules after Barfleur. That's the info I've got

I would also be surprised Le Havre does not end up with some form of a connection to Ireland in the middle of all this. Le Havre is somewhat better positioned than Cherbourg, but not as good as Dunkirk. There were a few reports in the Irish media of hauliers complaining about Cherbourg (at least a full day of driving for truck from the key markets).

Anymore details on the press conference tomorrow?

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56 minutes ago, lg12 said:

I agree with Le Havre being better positioned, but I don't see a huge difference between Saint Malo and Cherbourg. Picking the random example of Liege (because it is on the road to many destinations in the Netherlands and Germany) to Saint Malo - 704km, Cherbourg - 658km, Le Havre - 466km.

 

I would also be surprised Le Havre does not end up with some form of a connection to Ireland in the middle of all this. Le Havre is somewhat better positioned than Cherbourg, but not as good as Dunkirk. There were a few reports in the Irish media of hauliers complaining about Cherbourg (at least a full day of driving for truck from the key markets).

Anymore details on the press conference tomorrow?

Coming from the South, Le Havre and St Malo are more convenient. Coming from the east, Dunkirk and Le Havre are more convenient. Cherbourg has the only advantage of being a shorter sea route. But isn't it better to continue a few extra hours by boat to avoid miles by road ? Given the regulatory driving times in France, it is certain that truck drivers must look forward to opening routes closer to industrial centres (South and East of France and Paris region).

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I agree with the poster (sorry, can’t remember who it was) who made the point that St Malo is not greatly suited to being a transit port for large amounts of through-freight.  The local road network is not really up to it.  So I can see the attraction of Cherbourg over St Malo for south-bound traffic.  I guess (to answer my own question) Roscoff is primarily suited to traffic headed for the local Brittany area and possibly the northern parts of the French Atlantic coast.  Beyond that I can see Cherbourg being preferable.  For east and southeast bound traffic, yes, Dunkerque and Le Havre must be significantly superior as landing points in France.

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Even looking within France, there is really not much difference between St Malo and Cherbourg. Picking the example of Marseille to Saint Malo - 1114km, Cherbourg - 1170km, Le Havre - 965km. Hauliers would probably prefer a port with backup options that day (or at least the next day) rather than arrive in St Malo for a twice weekly sailing. 

I could imagine Le Havre working (especially with a decent frequency to be seen as a reliable option by hauliers) but I have doubts about St Malo and Roscoff in the current context.  

Now BF might have another strategy of doing a little bit at every port (and maybe even Le Havre), supported by some subsidies from the different regions. Spreading thin but wide could be another way of competing with IF, Stena and DFDS.

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If I may say, many here look at these possible new crossings from a British business rational. Us Bretons operate with a different "business software" where the will can prevail sometimes over the apparent bottom line. Brittany Ferries who started over 40 years ago are a testimony to this way of thinking.

If the regional council of Brittany really wants supplementary crossings from Roscoff or St Malo to Ireland, they will make it happen irrespective of the merits of other ports further East. They will even have the blessing of the ports and seafarers unions.

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23 minutes ago, crechbleiz said:

If I may say, many here look at these possible new crossings from a British business rational. Us Bretons operate with a different "business software" where the will can prevail sometimes over the apparent bottom line. Brittany Ferries who started over 40 years ago are a testimony to this way of thinking.

If the regional council of Brittany really wants supplementary crossings from Roscoff or St Malo to Ireland, they will make it happen irrespective of the merits of other ports further East. They will even have the blessing of the ports and seafarers unions.

Exactly. There are far too many on this forum who think BF are just a simple ferry company operated in the same way as every other ferry company.

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  • Gareth changed the title to New Routes Ireland - St Malo / Roscoff

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