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New Routes Ireland - St Malo / Roscoff


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10 hours ago, LHCity said:

But isn't it better to continue a few extra hours by boat to avoid miles by road ?

Not when many of us are used to the congested highways in the U.K. You can probably travel three times as far in an hour on a French motorway.

We need to also remember that from as far north as Cherbourg you can drive on dual carriageways toll free to Nantes, Brest, Rennes, Quimper... etc. This of course also includes Roscoff & St Malo.

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Few pics of Armorique arriving in Rosslare from Rosslare Europort twitter

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.

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

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Was that at the end of loading Chris?  I guess the second picture makes clear that the boarding ramp to the upper deck is closed, so, yes as far as Deck 5 is concerned.

Of course, deck 5 is normally where the passenger traffic is loaded, and there will be precious little of that at the moment.  Presumably (?) deck 3 was rather fuller?

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13 hours ago, lg12 said:

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.

I'm interested in this figure. Do you know what happens in the 90 minutes? Is it a case of 90 minutes spend slowing down, queuing, having papers checked and then getting back up to speed (with possible  knock on implications from going beyond an hours on road allowance)?

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25 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Of course, deck 5 is normally where the passenger traffic is loaded,

Back in October, over two thirds of deck 5 was HGV, this shows that HGV traffic on the route has reduced, however capacity has increased (Le Havre / Cherbourg).

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Brittany Ferries has issued a press release on the growth in unaccompanied freight.  It also confirms additional Ireland services from Roscoff and Saint-Malo from early February using the ARMORIQUE.  

Perhaps now we can move on from describing the words of BF's President as "rumour" "speculation" etc 😛 

Press Release

28 January 2021

Go west to take unaccompanied freight by sea, says Brittany Ferries

A growing number of haulage companies are shipping goods using unaccompanied trailers. Brittany Ferries says demand is rising, and the ports it serves on the western Channel in France and the UK are best set-up to receive these driverless loads. It believes more companies will look west in the months to come, and it has urged hauliers and logistics companies to get in touch via the website https://www.brittanyferriesfreight.co.uk or by calling +44 (0)330 159 5000

“Things like negative Covid tests for drivers are certainly helping drive the trend for unaccompanied loads,” commented Simon Wagstaff Brittany Ferries freight director. “However, there are other financial benefits in going driverless. We know of one large haulage operation in Ireland, for example, that has organised reciprocal arrangements with another in Spain, dropping off and picking up trailers for each other. That’s a cost-effective way of doing business.”

All ferry companies have reported reduced freight volumes in January as a consequence of Brexit fears and stockpiling by companies. However, while volumes are low, Brittany Ferries says the proportion of unaccompanied units is already much higher than in previous years. Galicia is Brittany Ferries’ newest Ro-Pax vessel, operating between Santander in Spain and Portsmouth. Since sailings began in early December, around 40 per cent of Galicia’s freight has been unaccompanied trailers.

Further evidence comes from the workhorse of the Brittany Ferries fleet, Pelican. This freight-only ship has been operating since 2016, connecting Bilbao with Poole. Designed primarily for unaccompanied trailers, Pelican’s fill rates have risen so significantly that it is now the best performing freight ship in the Brittany Ferries fleet.

“Of course, Pelican is an extremely versatile vessel which can take out-of-gauge shipments as well as unaccompanied units,” Simon Wagstaff adds. “It’s this flexibility in our fleet, combined with our ability to accommodate unaccompanied loads throughout our extensive route network, that makes Brittany Ferries an attractive prospect for the year ahead. We are pleased too that freight is flowing well through our ports, without the queues that some forecast at the start of the year.”

Brittany Ferries began as a freight-only operation in 1973. The first ship Kerisnel, was a converted Israeli tank-carrier. It had been chartered by French farmers to carry produce like cauliflowers and artichokes to the UK, a market that opened with the country’s entry into the EEC. However, the company quickly adapted. It turned to carrying passenger traffic (as well as freight) when it became clear the biggest export market was for British holiday makers visiting Brittany and then Normandy.

The company still moves quickly when opportunities arise. It opened a sea route connecting Ireland with Spain for the first time in 2018, predominantly for freight traffic. More recently it has brought forward the opening of a Rosslare Cherbourg connection, as Irish, French and Spanish hauliers seek an alternative to the UK land-bridge, with the cost, time and administrative burden that this now brings.

Plans are in progress to open further freight routes, connecting Roscoff and St Malo in Brittany, with Ireland. The aim is to finalise schedules as soon as possible and to commence operations in early February using Ro-Pax vessel Armorique.

In a normal non-Covid year Brittany Ferries carries around 210,000 freight units. Its twelve ships serve Caen, Cherbourg, Le Havre, Saint-Malo and Roscoff in France, Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth in the UK, Santander and Bilbao in Spain and Cork & Rosslare in Ireland. 

 

Ends.

 

Edited by RickOShea
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Interesting, looks like the tweet from the President was a bit premature as it is 'plans are in progress'

The other bit about unaccompanied freight is also interesting. If that is expanded it will lead to timetable changes or maybe more freight only sailings.

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Anyway, it is clear that the BF survival strategy is to make as much use of freight as they can and to be as nice as they can to the local politicians who help bring in the grants.

This is good news for the hauliers and bad news for 'essential' passengers as it will lead to less passenger services on the UK routes in the Spring / early summer (speculation not announcement).

ps 

Quote

Galicia is Brittany Ferries’ newest Ro-Pax vessel, operating between Santander in Spain and Portsmouth. Since sailings began in early December, around 40 per cent of Galicia’s freight has been unaccompanied trailers.

is interesting

Edited by David Williams
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6 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Anyway, it is clear that the BF survival strategy is to make as much use of freight as they can and to be as nice as they can to the local politicians who help bring in the grants.

This is good news for the hauliers and bad news for 'essential' passengers as it will lead to less passenger services on the UK routes in the Spring / early summer (speculation not announcement).

ps 

is interesting

More like neutral news for passengers isn’t it?  It’s pretty clear that no passengers will be going anywhere in the Spring, so might as well make use of the fleet where they can.

None of this current excitement is likely to have any relevance to how things end up looking in the longer term, when “normal” travel resumes.

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"The aim is to finalise schedules as soon as possible and to commence operations in early February using Ro-Pax vessel Armorique."

I would say it's highly likely to go ahead, unless something happens in the meantime.

 

 

Edited by TonyMWeaver
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Just now, Gareth said:

More like neutral news for passengers isn’t it?  It’s pretty clear that no passengers will be going anywhere in the Spring, so might as well make use of the fleet where they can.

Well I did say 'essential passengers'. It actually may be good news for normal passengers with Easter bookings as if the sailing is cancelled then they would get refunds.

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1 hour ago, David Williams said:

Well I did say 'essential passengers'. It actually may be good news for normal passengers with Easter bookings as if the sailing is cancelled then they would get refunds.

Indeed.  The bit in the press release about finalising schedules does make it feel (unless these new routes are just for a couple of months, which seems unlikely) that they might go hand in hand with quite a major revamp of the previously published passenger schedules from end March.

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5 minutes ago, Gareth said:

 that they might go hand in hand with quite a major revamp of the previously published passenger schedules from end March.

I think the same Gareth. I can see their passenger numbers and revenues being way down. So far there is nothing from the French President, standing ready to welcome British visitors, as soon as he can. Contrast this with the stance of Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece, closely followed by Spain and Portugal in wanting to open up the routes when its possible. Whilst that may be a while of course, they have issued warm words of intent and when you are looking for somewhere to go, things like this are important.

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  • Gareth changed the title to New Routes Ireland - St Malo / Roscoff
13 minutes ago, Paully said:

I think the same Gareth. I can see their passenger numbers and revenues being way down. So far there is nothing from the French President, standing ready to welcome British visitors, as soon as he can. Contrast this with the stance of Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece, closely followed by Spain and Portugal in wanting to open up the routes when its possible. Whilst that may be a while of course, they have issued warm words of intent and when you are looking for somewhere to go, things like this are important.

Just amended April crossing to Spain to May and cancelled the hotel bookings, we need to book hotels for  May which should pass a morning away. Not holding out much hope but what else is there to do this time of year and in lockdown. Also have a crossing booked for September saving up the planning of the details of this trip as something to look forward to. 

It's nice to plan something in the hope that you may be able to go

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4 hours ago, LHCity said:

Roscoff is only of interest to serve the western tip of Brittany. It is a niche market.

Roscoff is closer to almost all of Brittany than Cherbourg, Ouistreham or Le Havre. Shorter driving times to Rennes, Nantes, not to mention Brest, Concarneau, Lorient, Vannes .... Sure, St Malo can compete for that hinterland, but no ports further east.

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4 minutes ago, colin said:

Roscoff is closer to almost all of Brittany than Cherbourg, Ouistreham or Le Havre. Shorter driving times to Rennes, Nantes, not to mention Brest, Concarneau, Lorient, Vannes .... Sure, St Malo can compete for that hinterland, but no ports further east.

The bit I don’t quite get is that those particular markets will not have had any use for a landbridge routing via Dover (or probably even Portsmouth), so if there is demand for a route to Roscoff at this time of year this year then why has Cork-Roscoff been pulled for the winter in previous years?

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2 minutes ago, Gareth said:

The bit I don’t quite get is that those particular markets will not have had any use for a landbridge routing via Dover (or probably even Portsmouth), so if there is demand for a route to Roscoff at this time of year this year then why has Cork-Roscoff been pulled for the winter in previous years?

I think that there is far more adjustment going on than we are aware of, in many sectors of industry, agriculture, fisheries, transportation, education, tourism and more. Quite how the 3rd country status will filter through all of these sectors will take a good while to become clearer.

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3 minutes ago, Gareth said:

The bit I don’t quite get is that those particular markets will not have had any use for a landbridge routing via Dover (or probably even Portsmouth), so if there is demand for a route to Roscoff at this time of year this year then why has Cork-Roscoff been pulled for the winter in previous years?

Chef mentioned fishing boats unloading their catch in Ireland rather than traveling back to France which might account for some of the demand. 

Ed

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33 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Chef mentioned fishing boats unloading their catch in Ireland rather than traveling back to France which might account for some of the demand. 

Ed

I forgot to mention the Spanish boats as well , Castletownbere now has a resident Basque and Breton community , they throw a couple of great  festivals each year .

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Boats from one of France's biggest operators, Lorient based, used to land catch in Kinlochbervie, from where it was trucked to France. Some to Rungis (Paris) but lots to processors in Brittany. They are now landing in Ireland.

Kinlochbervie is worth a look on a satellite/aerial view. Sod all there except a modern fish landing and loading facility, and a road .... a surprisingly good road too,  upgraded and maintained simply to serve that traffic which has now dropped off dramatically.

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