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Brittany Ferries and CMA CGM form a partnership


Andy
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1 hour ago, David Williams said:

Interesting that the rail link is still due at the end of next year,

If that is used it could be aimed at providing competition to the Poole-Tangiers ferry route that it's supposed to be close to starting up. 

Ed

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It will be interesting what this brings (apart from cash). CMA CGM are probably best placed to run the rail route but so far their RORO experience is in the med.

https://www.cmacgm-group.com/en/activities/shipping-everywhere/maritime

  • 3 RORO vessels
  • 6 ports
  • 57 559 TEUs shipped in 2019
  • 5-9 days for a complete port rotation per service
  • 60 hours between Marseille and Casablanca
  • 36 hours between Marseille and Tunis
  • 48 hours between Marseille and Skikda
  • 7 departures per week Northbound/Southbound
Edited by David Williams
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On 14/09/2021 at 23:34, zuludelta said:

If BF is going into partnership with a container shipping company for freight and passengers, this could bring a whole new meaning to an Économie crossing...

At least any new ships developed by the partnerships be better looking than the floating pigeon lofts - er, I mean luxury cruise ships – that we see littering the oceans. And I suppose we could look for a new unit of measurement for passenger capacity – maybe the 6eu? Or maybe someone could develop "ferry-able" mobile homes based on 20ft boxes? Plug in to a reefer connection for the aircon, shower and breakfast coffee maker?

Joking aside, this is the best news we have heard from BF for a long time. I think that over the next 2–3 years we will see some major developments with BF freight services, and, I suspect, some strengthening of key back office functions, including IT. I also suspect that the partnership will boost prospects for the rail link – and tie-up with CMA-CGM's Maghreb services.

And who knows? Maybe a future JV could replace / supplement some of the [I choose my words carefully] less successful operators currently serving North Africa. For instance, does La Meridionale have the staying power to develop its Morocco service? Just a thought – and I'm sure both companies have many more topics to study and projects to develop.

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1 hour ago, kenw said:

 

Joking aside, this is the best news we have heard from BF for a long time. I think that over the next 2–3 years we will see some major developments with BF freight services, and, I suspect, some strengthening of key back office functions, including IT. I also suspect that the partnership will boost prospects for the rail link – and tie-up with CMA-CGM's Maghreb services.

 

I really hope this works out too!

But it can be a very tricky to get two corporate cultures to mesh. In addition, corporate history is littered with business mergers or partnerships which never produced the synergies as originally envisaged.  

Does BF need to be more freight oriented? - most definitly yes. But, it's key strength has always been offering a premium short-sea  transportation service to continental Europe for motorised passenger traffic. Let's hope this key strength never gets lost at the expense of freight. Because then, from a strategic point of view, BF could end up in a sort of no-mans land. A poor freight base and a reputation for offering a mediocre service among the public could be catastrophic.

Growing or maintaining market share among two very different market segments simultaneously can be difficult. Let's hope BF can pull through this and make it to the other side. 

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7 minutes ago, zuludelta said:

I really hope this works out too!

But it can be a very tricky to get two corporate cultures to mesh. In addition, corporate history is littered with business mergers or partnerships which never produced the synergies as originally envisaged.  

Does BF need to be more freight oriented? - most definitly yes. But, it's key strength has always been offering a premium short-sea  transportation service to continental Europe for motorised passenger traffic. Let's hope this key strength never gets lost at the expense of freight. Because then, from a strategic point of view, BF could end up in a sort of no-mans land. A poor freight base and a reputation for offering a mediocre service among the public could be catastrophic.

Growing or maintaining market share among two very different market segments simultaneously can be difficult. Let's hope BF can pull through this and make it to the other side. 

Thanks for that ZD. You are 100% correct regarding mergers and partnerships that don't work out – there were times when I think I earned my living analysing and reporting on them, going all the way back to the government-inspired Leyland Cars creation of the 1970s [the chronicles of which earned me a decent living for far too many years!].

But CMA-CGM are no strangers to the strategic partnership game, and given the pressures facing BF after the recent anni horribili I'm sure the culture there will be supportive of efforts to make it work. 

Writing my earlier note, I'm was distracted by a flurry of inbound info on the topic, and sent it before it was finished. Here's the missing bit:

[A sad trainspotter writes] For the benefit of anyone who isn't familiar with CMA-CGM's rail activities, two recent developments are particularly interesting:

The acquisition of Continental Rail. This Spanish freight operator specialises in container services to and from 16 major ports and is keen to expand. Given the French government's commitment to a massive increase in freight rail traffic this must be good news for BF. North African fruit anyone?

The launch of Rhine Valley Rail. This provides daily freight services from three important Rotterdam freight terminals to major industrial hubs including Dortmund in the hear of the Ruhr. Rail services are synchronised with ship movements. And of course it involves cross-border operation between NL and Germany.

HTH

Ken

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1 hour ago, kenw said:

The acquisition of Continental Rail. This Spanish freight operator specialises in container services to and from 16 major ports and is keen to expand. Given the French government's commitment to a massive increase in freight rail traffic this must be good news for BF. North African fruit anyone?

The launch of Rhine Valley Rail. This provides daily freight services from three important Rotterdam freight terminals to major industrial hubs including Dortmund in the hear of the Ruhr. Rail services are synchronised with ship movements. And of course it involves cross-border operation between NL and Germany.

 

 

That is interesting and certainly gives some perspective on the BF / CMA-CGM deal.  Maybe the latter are looking for feeder services to their main ports. BF's frequent sailings to Spain and France could help CMA-CGM make their supply chain speedier and more integrated. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see how this pans out. 

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