Tuesday, October 17, 2017

European Ferry Companies Report Increased Multimodal Freight Demand and New Services Initiated

Two Lines Both Positive for the Future as Total Trucks Also Increase on Tunnel Shuttle Route
Shipping News Feature
UK – SWEDEN – POLAND – FRANCE – Two European ferry companies continue to do well with reports that existing routes are registering higher volumes and new services are being opened to take up demand for multimodal freight. Meanwhile services on the Channel Tunnel shuttle services saw two record months in succession.

In the UK, P&O Ferries has seen the highest number of lorries and trailers travelling on its ferries between Northern Ireland and Scotland on the Larne and Cairnryan route in the third quarter of the year than it has in any Q3 since 2011. The ferry and logistics company carried 53,305 lorries and trailers on its ships in the months of July, August and September. This figure represents a 3.3% increase on the same quarter last year. Neal Mernock, P&O Ferries Sector Director on the Irish Sea, said:

"We are delighted that more and more freight customers are experiencing for themselves the benefits of transporting goods between Northern Ireland and Britain with us. Our port at Larne is fast becoming the gateway of choice for anyone exporting to or from Ireland. It has outstanding connections via rail and road, especially after the upgrading of the A8 dual carriageway, and is nine miles closer to Scotland than the port at Belfast.

"At just two hours in total the journey time on our sailings is up to 30 minutes shorter than if you travel with our competitors. This means that lorry drivers can spend less time on the ships and more time on the road."

P&O Ferries operates seven sailings a day between Larne and Cairnryan using two 21,000 tonne vessels. The company says the service provides a bridge for goods being transported between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to Britain, and also on to the continent via its connecting services from Dover, Tilbury, Hull and Teesport.

Meanwhile, the Ports of Stockholm operation is welcoming a new Stena Line service between the Port of Nynäshamn and Gdynia. Ports of Stockholm states this service that will enable more goods to be transported by sea directly to the growing Stockholm region with Henrik Widerståhl, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Marketing at Ports of Stockholm, saying:

“We are seeing a steady increase in freight volumes at all of our ports and it is extremely pleasing that Stena Line, a long-term and successful customer, has now chosen to introduce an entirely new service from the Port of Nynäshamn.”

Ports of Stockholm say that this new service is a tangible example of creating alternative possibilities to use maritime transport and to transport goods by sea directly to and from the growing Stockholm region and that this is a better environmental alternative, alleviating the pressure on the country’s already congested roads and railways and leading Stefan Hansson, Chair of the Board at Port of Stockholm to comment:

“It is beginning to get a bit crowded at the Port of Nynäshamn and this new service emphasises the need for the new freight port, the Stockholm Norvik Port, which we are currently building just north of Nynäshamn. The new port will be ready for the first vessels to call in 2020 and will be able to to handle larger volumes of both containers and RoRo services.”

The increased services from Stena Line, which also operates services between Nynäshamn and Ventspils in Latvia, prompted CEO Niclas Mårtensson to say:

“Demand for freight capacity is growing steadily, both from Poland and Sweden, and this is an important step for us in meeting the increasing demand of our customers, while at the same time building for the future. We will continue to develop our operations to keep pace with the needs of the market and our customers, and this new service will be an important supplement to our existing routes over the Baltic Sea.”

Meanwhile under the waves Eurotunnel reported an historic monthly record, upping the number of trucks carried by its shuttle service 2% against September last year and carrying a total of 138,774 lorries. This follows a similar pattern to August 2017 which also saw a 1% increase making it the best ever in that month with 127,729 trucks carried. The group’s third quarter revenues are due out on October 19.

Photo: The Stena Stockholm leaves port.