Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DFDS Adds Extra RoRo Freight Ferry and Joins LD Lines in SeaFrance Rescue

Plan to Open New Dover Calais Joint Service whilst Humber Traffic Grows
Shipping News Feature

UK – FRANCE - NETHERLANDS – DFDS Seaways have announced their intention to expand services on their freight only route from Immingham to Rotterdam and have joined with LD Lines to take up the slack left by the liquidation of SeaFrance. Just days after the French group went into liquidation the two companies reiterated their sentiments that there was capacity on for a RoRo service on the Dover and Calais route. The ferry groups have cooperated before, in November DFDS chartered an LD Lines vessel, the Norman Spirit to bolster its Dunkerque/Dover services.

The intention now is to employ up to three hundred staff, principally from the one thousand or so laid off by SeaFrance and confirms the bid originally made last year when DFDS and Luis Dreyfus Armateurs, LD Lines parent company, tried to purchase assets of the French line but were turned down by the Courts. A joint statement says:

“The commercial court of Paris has decided to liquidate SeaFrance. Our intention is to operate two ships under the French flag to be manned with French seafarers. To open a new route, and provide an attractive service for customers, we aim to hire about 300 staff and expect to be able to start the recruitment process soon. The new route would be operated by vessels currently owned by the joint venture or vessels available on the market.

“As previously stated, the underlying industrial logic of DFDS and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs joint venture has remained intact throughout the process. Furthermore, our joint venture is still in a unique position to create a number of sustainable French jobs, including the deployment of French flagged ships.

“We can, therefore, confirm that we have continued to pursue opportunities to establish a new route between Dover and Calais. Our intention is to operate at two ships under the French flag, those ships being manned with French seafarers. To open a new route, and provide an attractive service for customers, we aim to hire about 300 staff and expect to be able to start the recruitment process soon. The new route will be operated by vessels currently owned by Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and DFDS or vessels available on the market.”

Meanwhile at Immingham an extra RoRo ferry, the Anglia Seaways, will mean the DFDS now offers three ships on the route to Rotterdam and brings the number of vessels from the East Coast ports of Immingham and Felixstowe to six. The Immingham freight terminal is the company’s largest, offering freight services such as RoRo routes to Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway as well as stevedoring and warehousing.

The Anglia Seaways has 1,680 lane metres, equivalent to 120 trailers, for cargo such as unaccompanied trailers, trucks, cars and special cargoes. The ship was built in 2000 and comes from service in the Irish Sea where it operated between Heysham and Dublin. Sean Potter, managing director of DFDS Seaways’ freight services in the UK, commented:

“We are proud to announce that from 17th January we will add the extra ship to our services between Immingham terminal, one of the largest RoRo ports in the UK, and our terminal in Rotterdam. In the future there will be seven departures per week from Immingham to Rotterdam which further enhances our ability to provide our customers such as hauliers, heavy and food industries and others with robust, competitive and reliable sea transport.

“As one of the leading ferry companies in this market we will be able to offer more than 50 departures per week between Holland and the UK (Immingham, Felixstowe and Newcastle) and thus provide customers with a flexibility, which I am confident, will be appreciated, especially at peak times in the middle of the week.”