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8 minutes ago, RickOShea said:

Where on earth are you getting that from?

You can easily manage a roundtrip per week.

I'll revise my timescale for completing a near 1400 nm crossing using a RoRo which will be limited by length and draught due to the U.K. port constraints and heading up the North Atlantic against wind & currents when the vessel's type & age is plucked from the ether.

If anything does materialise I have a feeling it'll be something 20 -25 years old and plod along at around 15 knots....4 days each way, maybe 9 days all told when loading and unloading is considered and the musical linkspan operation that will be required in Poole due to BF needing it.

There's a huge difference in time and cost in driving up through Spain in a HGV than there is in covering the extra 500 nm by sea and for the amount of goods be it fresh or ambient that the U.K. imports from Africa - It's already being said about the rumour ( North Africa Post) that the ships would return to Tangier Med empty & we import twice as much in terms of value from the Faroe Islands -  so again I'll query, how cost effective would it be for a very small scale start up business which has absolutely zero history in shipping?

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I actually think the way this thread has developed brings an interesting subject to light. Let us take 3 forms of maritime transport, albeit I am simplifying. 1. Container vessel, assorted sizes.

5 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Southern Ferries’ Eagle used to take 6 days to do the Southampton - Lisbon - Tangier - Lisbon - Southampton round trip.

Yep and she was built especially for the route and still performed badly at sea at the max 18 knots she travelled. there are many, many stories of how poor a sea keeper she was and tales of battered vehicles on her decks. The continuing compensation claims and her ongoing engine issues were two of the reasons P&O sold her.

She also only visited Tangier one trip out of three.

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It doesn't seem to me to be a 'natural' ferry route. Exposed to the worst the North Atlantic can send you all the way up. Even BF's big ships get disrupted due to weather on frequent occasions. It's really hard to believe that it could be a money making proposition.

Ferries work best on relatively short sea routes in what are usually moderate conditions. They are literally out of their element on oceanic routes. Customers want a reasonable assurane of reliability and I can't see how that could be effectively delivered.

 

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11 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

It doesn't seem to me to be a 'natural' ferry route. Exposed to the worst the North Atlantic can send you all the way up. Even BF's big ships get disrupted due to weather on frequent occasions. It's really hard to believe that it could be a money making proposition.

Ferries work best on relatively short sea routes in what are usually moderate conditions. They are literally out of their element on oceanic routes. Customers want a reasonable assurane of reliability and I can't see how that could be effectively delivered.

 

Container ships do these routes continually..

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There are quite a few long-distance ferry routes from the UK East Coast into to the Baltic.  For example, the Mann Lines operation from Harwich to Turku, via a collection of other ports on the way, operates a 7-day repeating cycle.  The Wagenborg service between Terneuzen and Haraholmen, at the top of the Gulf of Bothina, that routes via Sheerness on its southbound leg, runs a 2-ship weekly service with each ship operating a fortnightly cycle.  So there is precedent for these long-haul routes.  The difference, though, as Colin alludes to, is that the Baltic is relatively sheltered from stormy weather in a way that the Atlantic coast is not.

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8 minutes ago, RickOShea said:

Container ships do these routes continually..

Yes but container ships are...er...container ships. They don't have doors at either end and are designed for inter-continental transport across oceans. 

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy
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13 minutes ago, Gareth said:

There are quite a few long-distance ferry routes from the UK East Coast into to the Baltic.  For example, the Mann Lines operation from Harwich to Turku, via a collection of other ports on the way, operates a 7-day repeating cycle.  The Wagenborg service between Terneuzen and Haraholmen, at the top of the Gulf of Bothina, that routes via Sheerness on its southbound leg, runs a 2-ship weekly service with each ship operating a fortnightly cycle.  So there is precedent for these long-haul routes.  The difference, though, as Colin alludes to, is that the Baltic is relatively sheltered from stormy weather in a way that the Atlantic coast is not.

Indeed - good examples of longer-haul roro services.

I'm not doubting that there are a few "challenges" to this. 

I'm just saying, without all the facts people are being unduly cynical and negative.  

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2 hours ago, cvabishop said:

As Cabin Boy says, deep sea container ships ain't ferries.  Big difference.

And ALL roro ships are incapable of operating a route like this??  

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A Visentini would be ideal here. 

I would half believe that an established operator with good marketing, a extensive sales network etc. could make it work. I am far less convinced when I see a letterbox company headed by a individuals with no obvious ferry / maritime experience. It makes no sense.

I wonder what are the longest regular long exposed roro ferry operations? Along with the well known UK-Spain, I can think of Tenerife/Gran Canaria-mainland Spain and Denmark - Iceland. 

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As far as the question of transatlantic roro services is concerned, surely the prime example of that is the Atlantic Container Lines operation?

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I'd like to see this sort of thing happen. Whether it's long term viable, who knows. 

 

Will be interesting to see what ship is assigned to the route if it does come off. There's a ship with a nice Atlantic bow laid up in Le Havre (jokes) but I think that is where it's suitability for such a route ends. 🤪

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I actually think the way this thread has developed brings an interesting subject to light. Let us take 3 forms of maritime transport, albeit I am simplifying.

1. Container vessel, assorted sizes.
2. R0Ro vessel carrying unaccompanied freight, trailers mainly, some with containers on trailers or otherwise.
3. RoRo or RoPax vessel taking mainly or only freight, and a mix of accompanied and unaccompanied.

Which option best suits this individual route and service, or more generally longer distance routes?

I would suggest that option 1 is probably already in full swing between north Africa and UK. Is there a need for one of the other options? Fresh produce may prioritise short port to port time, but that can be done by any of the options. Perhaps there is an argument for trailer traffic, but I would have thought unaccompanied was preferable on this type of route?

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Probably, but the press reports mention the 3 day ferry journey replacing the 6 day landbridge trip.

I wonder how much UK-North Africa landbridge traffic there actually is?

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51 minutes ago, lg12 said:

Probably, but the press reports mention the 3 day ferry journey replacing the 6 day landbridge trip.

I wonder how much UK-North Africa landbridge traffic there actually is?

Well, there is a lot of North Africa to EU truck traffic, mainly via Spain. I think that back when UK was in EU a fair amount went on through to UK?

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6 hours ago, Gareth said:

Agreed.  Discussing.  No need for personal pot shots at other posters though.  There is, for example, no need for Rick to have to correctly identify the the ship that will be used for him to be entitled to hold his view on the plausibility of the proposed service.

Thanks Gareth - I am big enough to let personal attacks wash over me but it's not particularly pleasant behaviour. 

Could I add that I think it is highly inappropriate for people sitting behind anonymous profiles to be having pot shots about the professional ability of the individuals concerned in this venture.  It's just a form of internet trolling and potentially actionable.  Unless you know these people behind the venture you are not entitled to judge them and if you do, it's probably dignified to keep your opinion to yourself.

Sorry rant over!

My original point was simply we don't know enough to be ruling this venture out - nothing stronger than that. I totally respect those who feel the venture isn't technically or economically feasible as that's a legitimate opinion even if it's not one I share as I don't think we know enough to say that.

Edited by RickOShea
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2 hours ago, RickOShea said:
2 hours ago, RickOShea said:

My original point was simply we don't know enough to be ruling this venture out - nothing stronger than that. I totally respect those who feel the venture isn't technically or economically feasible as that's a legitimate opinion even if it's not one I share as I don't think we know enough to say that.

 

Rick, if this turns out to be a viable ferry route, and attracts the traffic forecast, then I will be delighted. I would guess that cynicism plays a part here. There have been many cases over the years of people dreaming about setting up ferry routes without ferries, without customers and without any reasonable grounds for believing them to be necessary. If I had a pound for every venture which came to nothing then I'd have enough to set up my own ferry service. 😉

If Mr. Fahri, who has obviously been in touch with the media about his plans, is genuinely certain that the project is going to happen then that's great. Our job on this forum is not to do any due diligence into the financial and operational aspects of the deal but it would be reasonable for us to at try least find out any information we can about the company to form our opinions.

Your insider knowledge is great in these situations but can perhaps prove frustrating when constrained for reasons of confidentiality. Mr. Fahri has no internet presence, as far as I can ascertain, in the UK, Morocco or Canada outside of the flurry of websites which have picked up on his plans. There is no physical entity involved, apparently no track-record of his activities in the sector and no indications of his suitability for running a ferry service. That may not be problem in the industry - you probably know better than any of us - and certainly might not be an issue but it does rather set alarm bells ringing. (It reminds me somewhat of one of the fictive tourism companies we ask our students to create at the university as part of their degree course.) Hopefully Poole have done their checks before also speaking to the press. Let's cross our fingers that it does materialise and proves a welcome boost to Poole's fortunes and I look forward to you proving us wrong, again!

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy
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2 hours ago, RickOShea said:

Could I add that I think it is highly inappropriate for people sitting behind anonymous profiles to be having pot shots about the professional ability of the individuals concerned in this venture.  It's just a form of internet trolling and potentially actionable.  Unless you know these people behind the venture you are not entitled to judge them and if you do, it's probably dignified to keep your opinion to yourself.

 

Someone with no known/published links to the maritime industry claims he is setting up a ferry operation based at a letterbox company. Seems fair enough for people to do a bit of digging. 

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Maybe this will help inform viability - Trade UK to Morocco £1.2 billion and Morocco to UK £1.3 billion 2019 (ignoring 2020)

Top 5 UK goods exports to Morocco Value Top 5 UK goods imports from Morocco Value
Vehicles other than railway or tramway stock 162 Electrical machinery and equipment 134
Mineral fuels and oils 135 Vehicles other than railway or tramway stock 126
Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof 101 Articles of apparel and clothing, not knitted 87
Machinery and mechanical appliances 43 Edible vegetables 75
Electrical machinery and equipment 38 Edible fruit and nuts 69

(A lot of the balance is services like travel and transportation.)

Ignoring Mineral fuels and oils that is £344m to Morocco and £491m from - total £835m. Ignoring vehicles as well with car carriers that is £182m to Morocco and £365m from - £547m. I am sure trade worth £0.5 billion or £10m a week, is worth looking at servicing directly somehow.

The 3 days for the fruits and vegetables which at the moment a lot is flown due to the time to travel across Europe land bridge, so if a cheaper, no double customs and an in time dedicated shipping route (only Captain Poole [as one news report called him] I believe has mentioned RoRo), then there is a year round base to build from.

As a note, Unifeeder have a regular route from Rotterham to Leixoes (twice weekly) and Lisbon (weekly) currently, a route of about the same length with 3 day transit time. Not RoRo but all small container GT 8-10,000 t using the Mastery D, Sven D and Lena.

As for the rest of the stuff on profitability etc only the owners know what they are happy with and surely it is better for someone who can connect the dots to make it happen, bringing in shipping experience as required, than to have nothing. Also letterbox addresses are not unusual, and many companies that we use daily have some form of letterbox address somewhere.

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On 04/03/2021 at 23:58, RickOShea said:

I dunno guys  - I wouldn't be so cynical about these things.

Having worked on some projects like this in the past, some would read of having no credibility but had good agreements that would make them work.  In this case you only need a company guaranteeing you x number of loads per week to immediately have a viable project.

Also don't knock virtual addresses.  There can be all sorts of good reasons for using those.  

Having worked with the superb Poole Harbour Commissioners before, including the excellent Captain Murphy, I doubt they'd be giving this very public backing if it wasn't credible.

So all I am saying is - whether this project ever comes to fruition or not remains to be seen as projects can hit all kinds of obstacles but I'd say it's a 100% credible  given PHC's stance.

I don't often post on here nowadays, but well said! Whether this service actually happens remains to be seen, but I hope it does and the Port of Poole can profit by it.

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

Rick, if this turns out to be a viable ferry route, and attracts the traffic forecast, then I will be delighted. I would guess that cynicism plays a part here. There have been many cases over the years of people dreaming about setting up ferry routes without ferries, without customers and without any reasonable grounds for believing them to be necessary. If I had a pound for every venture which came to nothing then I'd have enough to set up my own ferry service. 😉

If Mr. Fahri, who has obviously been in touch with the media about his plans, is genuinely certain that the project is going to happen then that's great. Our job on this forum is not to do any due diligence into the financial and operational aspects of the deal but it would be reasonable for us to at try least find out any information we can about the company to form our opinions.

Your insider knowledge is great in these situations but can perhaps prove frustrating when constrained for reasons of confidentiality. Mr. Fahri has no internet presence, as far as I can ascertain, in the UK, Morocco or Canada outside of the flurry of websites which have picked up on his plans. There is no physical entity involved, apparently no track-record of his activities in the sector and no indications of his suitability for running a ferry service. That may not be problem in the industry - you probably know better than any of us - and certainly might not be an issue but it does rather set alarm bells ringing. (It reminds me somewhat of one of the fictive tourism companies we ask our students to create at the university as part of their degree course.) Hopefully Poole have done their checks before also speaking to the press. Let's cross our fingers that it does materialise and proves a welcome boost to Poole's fortunes and I look forward to you proving us wrong, again!

Ed

I have no wish to cause ill-feeling or go round in circles so will respectfully agree to disagree. 

But on one point here.

Again I really don't want to get into discussing the suitability of people for a venture (either to cast doubt or indeed to endorse) but one thing none of us know is whether the venture has engaged the services of those who have the knowledge they don't.  So you can have a situation where the people concerned do indeed have zero experience of ship operation but have people who do know advising them.  This is simply why I don't cast doubt on stuff without having an intimate knowledge of what is going on behind the scenes.

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