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MY FERRY LINK - Latest updates

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

I see MFL ships docking everyday from my new office. The Nord-Pas de Calais seems to carry quite a lot of freight units. Berlioz seems a bit quieter. I have attached a picture of Berlioz starting her engines today. Good looking ferry.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

It seems that the UK Competition Commission has already made public it's initial findings on Eurotunnel/MFL

 

From http://news.sky.com/story/1054068/eurotunnel-ferry-move-could-mean-price-rises

 

Passengers and freight firms may face higher ticket prices following Eurotunnel's purchase of three ferries from defunct operator SeaFrance, according to the competition watchdog.

 

By adding ferry services to its existing Channel Tunnel business, Eurotunnel would "significantly increase" its already high share of the cross-Channel market and prices would rise, the Competition Commission (CC) has provisionally found.

 

The watchdog said Eurotunnel decided to acquire the SeaFrance ferries in order to prevent ferry operator DFDS/LD Lines from buying them.

 

Eurotunnel was concerned that if DFDS/LD Lines acquired the assets cheaply, it could drive down prices for customers, the CC found.

 

The group last year branched out into sea transport with the 65m euros (£56m) purchase of three of the ships formerly operated by SeaFrance, a unit of French railway operator SNCF that went into liquidation early last year.

 

France's competition watchdog cleared the takeover which saw Eurotunnel launch ferry services between Dover and Calais on August 20, under the MyFerryLink brand.

 

 

Eurotunnel says the creation of MyFerryLink is "pro-customer"

Alasdair Smith, deputy chairman of the CC and chair of the Eurotunnel/SeaFrance Inquiry Group, said: "It would seem that Eurotunnel moved into the ferry business because it was concerned at the increased competition it would face if another operator bought the assets.

 

"Given that the company already holds a market share of over 40%, we're concerned that customers could lose out from Eurotunnel increasing its share even further and being able to raise prices on the tunnel services.

 

"In view of the current excess capacity on the Dover-Calais route, it also seems likely that one of the current ferry operators is likely to exit in the short to medium term.

 

"We think that customers will be better off if there are two independent ferry companies competing with the tunnel than if one of the two is owned by Eurotunnel.

 

"We will now look at how we can protect competition in this market. Whilst our focus is primarily on customers' interests, we will also consider carefully the interests of the ferry employees," he added.

 

In its report, the CC said DFDS/LD would be likely to cease operating services between Dover and Calais in the short to medium term "in the context of excess capacity and continuing competition from MFL".

 

P&O Ferries, MyFerryLink and DFDS/LD are the three operators which currently run cross-Channel ferry services on the Dover-Calais route.

 

Groupe Eurotunnel said it would be challenging the finding that the addition of a new operator was "detrimental to competition and could lead to an increase in prices".

 

It said the acquisition of the former SeaFrance ships - nine months after the company ceased all operations - and the creation of a new competitor meant increased competition and customers had an "additional choice".

 

Jacques Gounon, chairman and CEO of Groupe Eurotunnel, said: "Eurotunnel intends to continue to work with the Competition Commission to allay the concerns raised by existing ferry operators and to demonstrate that the creation of MyFerryLink is a good thing for the market as it is both pro-customer and pro-competition."

 

The CC is expected to publish its final report by April 14.

 

Eurotunnel operates the vehicle shuttle services in the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France and earns revenue on other freight and passenger trains that pass through the tunnel.

 

The Competition Commission have the power to stop operations on the British side of the channel, but as MyFerryLink is French, could this mean it gets a bit more complicated? Eurotunnel/MFL have clearly not played by the rules and the UK Competition Commission have seen right through the deal, which also calls to light how much scrutiny did this deal go under whilst being investigated by their French counterparts?

 

James

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

The Competition Commission have the power to stop operations on the British side of the channel, but as MyFerryLink is French, could this mean it gets a bit more complicated? Eurotunnel/MFL have clearly not played by the rules and the UK Competition Commission have seen right through the deal, which also calls to light how much scrutiny did this deal go under whilst being investigated by their French counterparts?

 

Well all I can say is that the UK CC is also quite capable of waving through the most anti-competitive mergers when it suits them. But it really all depends on whether there is a competition issue at all. As one of their previous chiefs once said the job of the CC is to protect competition not competitors. There is nothing to say that Eurotunnel's acquisition is prima facie anti-competitive at this stage. And anyway there is always realpolitik to consider. Mind you what Eurotunnel's reaction would be if they ended up as the only ferry operator and were then maybe forced to chose between getting out of ferries or being forced to hive off le Shuttle leaving themselves as a rail infrastructure company only is one to ponder :D

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

Interesting that the CC feel it is likely that DFDS/LD are likely to pull out of Dov-Cal and have put that in their statement! Surely the operator is going to object strongly to this speculation to protect their future bookings..........?

 

Wonder if some deal will be done for a smaller MFL that Eurotunnel could claim as a backup option in case of tunnel closure that ticks over by taking haz loads etc ? NPdC and one of the twins ?

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

One is surprised the CC would include in their report the suggestion that one of the current Dover-Calais operators is likely to exit the route in the short to medium term unless they had good reason for saying so. And how long is "the short to medium term" anyway? If indeed this operator is DFDS/LD it's interesting no mention is made of Dover-Dunkerque. Presumably DFDS/LD are planning to stay on this route.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

Its been quite noticable that recently My Ferry Thing have got busier , though at times they are still very quiet. They appear to have got some traffic from P&O who i think have tried to raise freight rates, have seen a few Dentressangel lorries using them when in the past P&O seemed to have cornered the Dentressangel custom.As for DFDS/LD they seem to be plodding along, gone quiet re the deployment of a D class on the route, though the Norman Spirit is due to re fit soon, guess they will go to a one ship operation on the route, never a good thing. You have a situation at the moment that 11 ships are on the short sea crossing , one more than before Seafrance went to the wall, this is far too many for the available traffic and Calais port does struggle at times to accomadate ships at busy times. Think the Seaway wind farm charter may not come off in the short term and she may lay up at the end of the refit season.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

As for DFDS/LD they seem to be plodding along, gone quiet re the deployment of a D class on the route.

 

From what I have heard the Dieppe Seaways is doing well to Calais and that she's coping with demand. I'm sure on a D class the passenger areas would get horrendously crowded at peak times and especially during the summer.

 

James

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

From what I have heard the Dieppe Seaways is doing well to Calais and that she's coping with demand. I'm sure on a D class the passenger areas would get horrendously crowded at peak times and especially during the summer.

 

James

 

Indeed! The traffic statistics from Sweden would suggest DFDS have a bit of a problem on the Dover Straits. It seems that two used boats on Dover-Calais do markedly better than three purpose-built ships on Dover-Dunkerque, at least in terms of pax and cars. In December 2012 DFDS conveyed approx 315,00 pax between Dover and Calais as opposed to approx 146,500 between Dover and Dunkerque. Even assuming Dover-Dunkerque is primarily a freight route the results are not that encouraging. Between Dover and Calais DFDS conveyed approx 46,500 freight units as opposed to just over 37,00 between Dover and Dunkerque. In a sense, I suppose, DFDS are competing not only with the Tunnel, MFL and P&O but also with themselves and may at some point in the not-too-distant future have to decide which route they are going to go with. The CC are suggesting the possibility of their exiting Dover-Calais. Thus one presumes they will continue with Dover-Dunkerque. In that event they could transfer DIEPPE SEAWAYS to join the three "D" class on that service and NORMAN SPIRIT could once again return to Portsmouth-Le Havre, maybe making that a two ship operation.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

The figures from Sweden do not account for whatever marketing efforts that they may have made. A new route would expect to receive more of a push, potentially detracting from an existing route. Both freight and passenger traffic might have been distorted by promotions and offers. One might expect Calais to be more attractive to passengers ahead of Christmas with the traditional stocking up that takes place and the Calais daytrip being the most well know route in the minds of the public.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

exiting Dover - Calais would in no way mean that all traffic flocks to Dunkerque. It would much rather encourage MFL to run three ships persistently and in the end DFDS looses market share and improves the Dunkerque service only marginally. If Dunkerque is not doing well, it would make more sense to bring one of the D-class to Calais and get rid of a chartered ship or the Norman Spirit.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

exiting Dover - Calais would in no way mean that all traffic flocks to Dunkerque. It would much rather encourage MFL to run three ships persistently and in the end DFDS looses market share and improves the Dunkerque service only marginally. If Dunkerque is not doing well, it would make more sense to bring one of the D-class to Calais and get rid of a chartered ship or the Norman Spirit.

 

Maybe it would be a better commercial strategy to turn Dover-Dunkerque into a purely freight route as an alternative to closing it altogether and switch the "D" class to Dover-Calais together with DIEPPE SEAWAYS. NORMAN SPIRIT could then go off to start the Portsmouth-Ouistreham service that DFDS are said to be contemplating and which is being discussed elsewhere in these Forums!

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

Dieppe Seaways and Norman Spirit would make excellent Portsmoth-Le Havre ships if DFDS decided to concentrate on Dunkirk and leave Calais to P&O/MFL 8-)

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

Dieppe Seaways and Norman Spirit would make excellent Portsmoth-Le Havre ships if DFDS decided to concentrate on Dunkirk and leave Calais to P&O/MFL 8-)

 

Didn't LD Lines want to use DIEPPE SEAWAYS when she was JEAN NICOLI on Portsmouth-Le Havre but had to abandon the idea when it was found she was too long for the Le Havre berth. The pier at the berth could have been lengthened but the LH port authority declined to do so. Maybe this was because the lengthened pier could have closed off access to the pilot base next door! Presumably they must just get away with NORMAN VOYAGER but then she's due to be replaced soon by the much shorter COTE D'ALBATRE. If BF ever decided to use conventional ferries to LH it seems they might just get away with PONT AVEN but no way with CAP FINISTERE. The rest of the fleet would seem to be OK though.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

Indeed! The traffic statistics from Sweden would suggest DFDS have a bit of a problem on the Dover Straits. It seems that two used boats on Dover-Calais do markedly better than three purpose-built ships on Dover-Dunkerque, at least in terms of pax and cars. In December 2012 DFDS conveyed approx 315,00 pax between Dover and Calais as opposed to approx 146,500 between Dover and Dunkerque. Even assuming Dover-Dunkerque is primarily a freight route the results are not that encouraging. Between Dover and Calais DFDS conveyed approx 46,500 freight units as opposed to just over 37,00 between Dover and Dunkerque.
I understand DFDS/LD report their Dover-Calais figures quarterly (as noted in the previous edition of CFI) so these are figures for three months not just one; in contrast the Dunkerque route stats are only for December (and the number of sailings was reduced due to it being a refit period). If these figures were for just one month one would need to believe that DFDS in December carried more cars on their Calais route than P&O did.

 

Amongst the stats for December the continued poor performance of the DFDS Le Havre service is notable, accounting for around 1.5% of declared UK-France ferry passengers and 1.1% of freight. Perhaps the most notable UK traffic development though was that for the first time Stena's Killingholme route took more freight (+44% year on year) than P&O did between Hull and Rotterdam (-6%). They're not directly comparable operations but given Stena have built their operation from nothing in a decade or so it's a remarkable achievement.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

"Shippax CFI" doesn't seem indicate if the actual statistics are quarterly just that they are quarterly if not otherwise available. If you hadn't seen the January 2013 issue you wouldn't have known the figures given in the February issue for DFDS Dover-Calais were quarterly. A bit misleading really, especially if you're not a close student of the service in question. I follow the results for BF which are monthly. I've scrutinised all the results in some recent issues and can't find a parallel situation, but that's not to say there isn't one. I'd point this out to Shippax but I suppose at the moment they are still coping with the recent death of their publisher and leading light, Klas Brogren.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

Indeed. Often figures can be presented to support or to rubbish an argument when the context is not presented.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

Groupe Eurotunnel are to challenge the initial findings of the UK Competition Commission.

 

You can see the full press release here: http://www.eurotunnelgroup.com/uploadedFiles/assets-uk/Media/Press-Releases/2013-Press-Releases/130219competition-commission-provisional-findings.pdf

 

The Competition Commission has today, 19 February 2013, announced its provisional findings in relation to the acquisition by GET SA of assets previously owned by SeaFrance and the creation of a new competitor in the cross-Channel market, MyFerryLink.

 

Eurotunnel is not surprised at the position of the Competition Commission, but will challenge the provisional findings which conclude that the addition of the new operator, MyFerryLink, would be detrimental to competition and could lead to an increase in prices.

 

Eurotunnel contends that, since the favourable opinion given by the French Competition Authorities in 2012, it would appear the existing ferry operators in the Short Straits market

have sought to use the process initiated by the British Competition Authorities to protect their own interests from new entrants and increased competition.

 

Eurotunnel considers that the acquisition of the ex SeaFrance ships, nine months after that company ceased all operations, and the creation of a new competitor in the cross-Channel

marketplace, MyFerryLink, constitutes an increase in competition and brings additional choice for customers.

 

This sentiment is supported in the Competition Commission's summaries of hearings with cross-Channel customers, using both ferry and Tunnel services themselves, and which are published on its own website.

 

Speaking at the Group’s Headquarters this morning, Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel SA said: "Eurotunnel intends to continue to work with the Competition Commission to allay the concerns raised by existing ferry operators and to demonstrate that the creation of MyFerryLink is a good thing for the market as it is both procustomer and pro-competition".

 

And so it begins...

 

James

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

Mdrrr P & O is managed by Dubai I remind you, so you the English you been misplaced to criticize (L)

 

Do you follow the French business news? You might be concerned (surprised) to know which 'French' companies are foreign owned.

 

Play up PSG - enjoy your foreign money.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

I wonder about the total independence of the 'UK Competition Commission', other than supporting their own well paid jobs and jurisdiction powers?

 

In the the case of P&O closing the UK-Le Havre route they became involved when BF expressed an interest in taking over the route (and possibly the Olau twins).

Result:

- BF decided the indecision time was not supportable and progressed no further.

- The UK travelling public no longer had a reasonable route to Le Havre.

 

In the current judgement, aren't DFDS a substantial player in European transport? It would be of interest to compare the capital employed by DFDS versus Eurotunnel.

 

In addition MFL provide another competitor on the short cross-channel link. This would appear to support the competition mantra.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

I wonder about the total independence of the 'UK Competition Commission', other than supporting their own well paid jobs and jurisdiction powers?

 

In the the case of P&O closing the UK-Le Havre route they became involved when BF expressed an interest in taking over the route (and possibly the Olau twins).

Result:

- BF decided the indecision time was not supportable and progressed no further.

- The UK travelling public no longer had a reasonable route to Le Havre.

 

In the current judgement, aren't DFDS a substantial player in European transport? It would be of interest to compare the capital employed by DFDS versus Eurotunnel.

 

In addition MFL provide another competitor on the short cross-channel link. This would appear to support the competition mantra.

 

The biggest issue is that Eurotunnel own the Rodin, Berlioz and NPC, and they appear to be giving financial support to/subsidising MFL through either the charter or cold hard cash. Even if MFL is an "independent" company, the UK Competition Commission see MFL and Eurotunnel as one company and therefore in their eyes they have a monopolistic market share as one entity.

 

James

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

The works behind it are simple: form a new company which you subsidise. Offer low prices. Push third companies out of the market. Raise prices or close down your new company. Reap monopolistic rewards. Once the permission is granted, Eurotunnel could not be stopped.

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Re: My Ferry Link - Updates

 

The works behind it are simple: form a new company which you subsidise. Offer low prices. Push third companies out of the market. Raise prices or close down your new company. Reap monopolistic rewards. Once the permission is granted, Eurotunnel could not be stopped.

 

The only way they could be stopped if granted permission is if all three bores of Channel tunnel collapse (two train and service), meaning that most of their income goes away. It's exceptionally unlikely to happen though.

 

James

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