Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Scottish Ro Ro Freight Ferry News

Name Your Vessel Time Again
Shipping News Feature

SCOTLAND – Last December we told how North Link Ferries wanted suggestions from Shetland Islanders for names for their latest RoRo freight ferry, offering four free return trips to the winner. That time the successful entry came from young Sophie Wishart, aged 12, when she came up with the name of a local island, Hildasay, which fitted the bill due to its local connection and the initial H, which all the company’s recent vessels bear.

Once again, with the four trips as a prize, North Link are seeking a name for the Clipper Racer, again a ferry hired on a full charter basis from Seatruck Ferries of Heysham. She will replace the 37 year old Clare in January and entrants have until 5pm on the 5th November to come up with their suggestions. Shetland Islanders only can enter HERE.

In other Scottish ferry news, this week saw DFDS Seaways bosses meet with Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP John Park plus members of Fife Council to explain why the Rosyth-Zeebrugge passenger/freight service had to cease. Circumstances surrounding the cancellation of passenger services whilst reinforcing the freight carriage itinerary were explained in our August article but DFDS are under considerable pressure to maintain a public service.

Although the company has made no further statement since the initial announcement to replace the service with a two ferry freight only service, DFDS Seaways vice-president Andreas Teschl is reported as saying of the meetings:

“I believe we were able to provide clarity over our decision to stop the passenger service and to express again our disappointment at this outcome. The meetings were extremely valuable, in both ensuring we were able to engage with key stakeholders in the Fife community and in outlining how the company is moving forward with its future plans for the Rosyth-Zeebrugge route.We want to ensure these meetings and exchanges continue in the future.”

Mr Teschl continued on to point out that the route had been dogged by losses since its inception and with no prospect of improving the financial position, a switch to freight only gave the company the chance to concentrate on developing the service, offering four voyages per week for accompanied and unaccompanied trailers and containers.

Fife Council confirmed the meetings were useful but emphasised they would continue to seek a reopening of passenger services.