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fleetMaritime: IRISH SHIPPING & FREIGHT Compiled by Howard Knott Edited by Jarlath Sweeney email:

Volume 5, No. 1 Spring 2010

A good passenger business on Ferries is good news for Freight.


ony Kelly, CEO of Irish Ferries, was quite right when he said, “Publications such as ‘Fleet Maritime’ do not give enough space and thought to the important role that the carriage of passengers plays, for many in the Ferry industry.” Tony was attending the CILT Dinner and at that event, on behalf of Irish Ferries he walked away with both the Passenger Transport Award and the ‘Overall Logistics and Transport Excellence’ Award. When the Car Ferry took over from the conventional passenger steamer on the Irish Sea and elsewhere during the 1960’s it did not take Lines such as B + I, Sealink and others long to discover that there was a freight vehicles market out there in addition to passengers and cars. The freight vehicles could fi ll those empty car decks in the ‘off-season’, greatly enhancing the profits of the Lines concerned and the quick write down of the capital cost of the new vessels. In the summertime the freight traffic was forced to make way for the better paying tourist business. Hauliers and Shippers alike throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s have found the provision of a reliable service to their respective clients difficult. Eventually, the freight ferry was introduced on most routes causing a significant surge in Ro-Ro traffic to and through Britain. At the same time growth in passenger and car traffic stalled, due mainly to greatly improved airline services with significantly lower fares.

While Lines such as Norfolkline and P & O Ferries moved to Ro-pax ferries that have a primary focus on the freight customer but do supplement that revenue with passenger business, Irish Ferries and Stena have, with vessels such as the ‘Ulysses’, the ‘Oscar Wilde’ and the ‘Stena Adventurer’ have been able to provide strong services for both client bases. These vessels alone have capacity to take up to 9,000 passengers a day ex Irish Ports, equivalent to fi ft y Boeing 737’s. The two ‘Holyhead’ vessels rank amongst the world’s largest Cruise Ferries giving optimal conditions for both passengers and Freight vehicles. The issue now is whether or not this mode of transport is exploited to its full potential by the Shipping Lines, the Ports, the providers of infrastructure and transport services on both sides of the Irish Sea and elsewhere. Do Iarnrod Eireann, along with the UK’s Virgin Rail, France’s SNCF and others actively promote rail/ship/ rail travel from stations on their network to the businessman or tourist’s fi nal destination? Importantly, given the huge importance of the Tourism business in Ireland, do Iarnrod Eireann actively encourage its partners to sell such packages? Bus Eireann do operate within the Eurolines set-up, sending coaches through on the ferry to a range of English destinations, but are such services actively developed and marketed? Are the other coach companies that are so active in feeding passengers into Dublin and elsewhere exploiting the opportunities?

Tourism Ireland has launched a major marketing campaign in Britain in an effort to reverse the 2009, 20 per cent drop in tourist numbers, this in the face of a serious reduction of air capacity on UK – Ireland air routes. This then must become the opportunity for all of those involved with access by sea. As Declan Mescall of Irish Ferries said, there is no shortage of capacity or services on the sea routes. Of course, more passengers and more cars could quickly spark even more sailings – and that has to be good for the freight business. That the market is able and willing to make such a switch is shown by Stena Line’s Christmas period results on its Irish Sea routes. It carried 110,000 passengers and 30,000 cars, more than 5 per cent up on the same period in 2008.

Pictured with the Overall Logistics and Transport Excellence Award is Irish Ferries Director of Marketing, Tony Kelly (left) with Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport President, Paul Mallee, who made the presentation.

Danish Maritime sector develops Green Ship programme.


KEMA’ is a Europe-wide project which is developing an interactive knowledge Platform for Maritime Transport and Logistics. Nautical Enterprise Centre, based in Cork, leads the Irish participation along with the Irish Exporters Association. Both of these organisations also work together with European partners in the EU backed Props, Short Sea development programme. The SKEMA Group, in co-operation with the Copenhagen Business School, put together a Conference with papers to the theme, ‘Sailing through Troubled Water’. Contributions ranged from Danske Bank on the new world

of ship fi nance, through optimising freight distribution throughout Europe bringing rail and barge transport more into the picture. Enda Connellan, spoke on the role of Ports as facilitators of Maritime Trade and Economic Recovery while Bo-Cerup-Simonsen, V.P. of Maersk Maritime Technology introduced the topic of Green Shipping.

mode of transport. It is estimated that over 2.7 per cent of global CO 2 emissions come from International shipping. The Group’s objective is to focus on the “simple” things that can be done to reduce the level of polluting emissions with a target of CO 2 reduction by 30 per cent, SOx and NOx each by 90 per cent in both new and existing vessels.

Th is particular subject generated a great deal of discussion and many of those actively involved in the Danish ‘Green Ship Network’ took part. The essential element here is that some 90 per cent of World Trade is carried by ship and for the vast majority of this cargo there is no alternative

While an effective exhaust gas scrubber system can almost eliminate SOx and harmful particle emissions and the use of LNG rather than diesel fuel in some ferries takes out all SOx and 25 per cent of CO 2 , there is a range of particular products and changes in operating systems that

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Interview with Dr. Frank Lu, Chairman of Yang Ming Line.


ang Ming, Chairman, Dr. Frank Lu, together with Dr. D.C.H. Yeh, Managing Director of the Hamburg based Yang Ming Shipping Europe visited Dublin in January and along with Aidan Lawler, Joint Managing Director of Johnson Stevens (Ireland) Ltd. Fleet Maritime’s Howard Knott availed of the opportunity to speak to them. Johnson Stevens (Ireland) Ltd. has represented the Taiwan based Yang Ming Line in Ireland ever since it started serving Northern Europe in 1984. Yang Ming is a publicly quoted company on the Taipei Stock Exchange and is one of the Top 10 carriers in the Europe-Asia Container shipping Trade. Its fleet runs to 90 vessels with a combined tonnage of almost 5 million deadweight tonnes. In the course of their time in Ireland Dr. Lu and Dr. Yeh visited many of the sub-contractors and the customers who had supported the Line’s operations over the past quarter century. As Aidan Lawler pointed out in the course of our meeting, “ Ireland is a very important market for Yang Ming and Dr. Lu’s visit here is a testament to Yang Ming’s commitment to our Irish customers.” At the meeting the vistors took the opportunity to reflect on the Company, its growth, its philosophy and on the outcome of their Irish discussions. We asked Dr. Lu, "What has been the impact of the recession on the shipping industry?” He answered, “The recession has had a serious impact in 2009 and volumes decreased to some extent – in general, by more than 10%. The current situation is that the liquidity problem of 2009 is over, but carriers are fighting for profitability which is very challenging." He went on, “2010 should be much better than 2009 and both import will reduce fuel burn and, thus, all emissions from almost any vessel. Th is has led members of the group into research on, for example, new anti-fouling paints with a low water friction which have been demonstrated to reduce fuel consumption by between 3 and 8 per cent; new rudder designs can also drop fuel use by about 4 per cent, while GPS driven route planning has been shown to reduce consumption aboard the trial DFDS ferries by 2 per cent. In the longer term the Group is looking at more radical programmes and testing the use of carbon fibre foils as sails. Th is is building on the proven success of the Project Carrier specialist, Beluga Shipping in the use of kites to haul the vessel

and export volumes will increase in Asia." On freight rates he said, "in the short term the rate issue should be more reasonable and should be more beneficial for both carriers and their customers.” He saw that the likely pressure upward on rates that would follow from an increase in cargo tonnage being off set by the arrival of much new tonnage from the shipyards. Th is new tonnage will also have a positive effect on the ‘green’ efficiency of the Yang Ming and other fleets. We asked him what was his opinion of European Ports and their efficiency and how he perceived transhipment for Ireland? He replied, “We visited Dublin Port this week and discovered that it is a multi- purpose Port including almost every Port function. It is also very efficient and, therefore, well placed to take advantage of the economic recovery”. "Generally," he said, "European ports are no longer congested which assists our schedule and punctuality and this helps us to improve our service. Transhipment of Yang Ming traffic for Ireland has benefitted greatly from our centralisation of all activities in Rotterdam’s Euromax terminal. Since 2009 all of our vessels call at Euromax which is dedicated exclusively to services operated or shared by Yang Ming.” He concluded, “Th is has improved our transhipment efficiency and resulted in a very smooth service to our customers.”

would now be 9’6” high giving more efficient carriage of packaged goods. Finally, we asked Dr. Lu, “What are Yang Ming’s Business objectives with regard to Ireland?” He responded, “Our immediate objectives are to improve service quality especially in terms of frequency and transit time. Yang Ming greatly appreciates the good support of Irish Exporters over the last twenty-five years and our target is to ensure that our core values of Teamwork, Innovation, Honesty and Pragmatism will benefit Irish customers in the future.” The meeting, which was facilitated by Johnson Stevens (Ireland) Ltd. and the Irish Exporters Association, and gave Fleet Maritime a unique insight into the thought processes that drive this major Asian Line.

Dr. Lu then spoke about the ‘hardware’ of the shipping business. In his opinion, there were limits to what the Mega- container vessels could do and that there would always be a strong niche for smaller vessels that could be flexible on Port calls and other operations. He did not foresee the 45ft . Container playing a major role in the deep sea traffic, but that most new 40ft . Containers along the Trade Wind routes. As an aside, but it does demonstrate the human element in achieving good results, it was mentioned that the performance of the Beluga trials improved greatly when an agreement was made that the crew on board the vessel would be paid a share of the fuel savings coming from the use of the kite.

The Skema project is focussed on the development of a web-site through which interested parties can access the cutt ing edge research being done in the Maritime and Logistics sectors. The Skema website is and the Irish participation is led by James Kehoe at Nautical Enterprise in Cork.

In the course of his presentation retiring CEO of Dublin Port, Enda Connellan, made a strong plea that Ireland’s Maritime policy should be Government rather than Lobby Group led. His paper also touched on seeking to achieve rational internal cargo distribution systems throughout the island of Ireland.

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PORT PORTALS Door to Door and Feeder Lo-Lo Line, BG Freight Line has enhanced its Irish service by adding the Ports of Brest and Montoire de Bretagne (Nantes) to its weekly services linking Dublin and Cork with Rotterdam. Transit times to and from the Irish Ports will be approximately one week. Paul Mason, of BG Freight Line sees the new link as opening up the potential of Western France for Irish exporters and importers on a much more timely, economical and ‘green’ way than the traditional routes. International Warehousing and Transport (IWT) has taken over the Irish Agency of Scandinavian based Tschudi Logistics and Tschudi Lines. Tschudi operates an extensive range of container and other services throughout the North Sea and Baltic Regions with its own fleet of vessels and ISO equipment. Tschudi is particularly strong in the area of bulk liquids in tank containers. IWT is rolling out a marketing programme for all of these services linking into the network at Rotterdam.

Celtic Forwarding Ltd., has become the fi rst Irish owned Freight Forwarder to receive the Quality standard that is ‘AEO’ (Authorised Economic Operator) status. An AEO certified Forwarder will receive priority Customs treatment for its shipments. Finbarr Cleary of Celtic said “AEO is a Government led audit of our financial well being and full customs compliance and assures shippers and their customers that they are using a safe, secure supply chain.”

Shipping line MSC Ireland has also achieved AEO status as have other companies within the MSC Group. The Port of Waterford Company has made a call for expressions of interest for a lease to operate the Belview Container Terminal at the Port. The Company sees the business challenge as being to maximise the investment in the container Terminal so that the Port can best support business in the region and fully exploit to connectivity options arising from the easy access to the M9 Motorway. Meanwhile the Port of Cork hopes shortly to identify a new site for the planned €200 million deepwater terminal within the harbour area. Possible sites being considered include the former IFI plant at Marino Point, the Curlane Bank near Haulbowline and the former ADM Jett y at Ringaskiddy.

development of the mode. EU Short Sea Shipping Development Policy will come under the microscope including the Union’s funding incentives for further development both at sea and ashore.

Fastnet Line which re-opens the Cork / Swansea Ferry link on 8 March has reported pre-bookings well in excess of initial targets for March and April. Some 80% of the passengers booking are for tourists travelling to Ireland from UK. Stena Line has announced a £200 million investment programme for its Belfast / Scotland service. Th is follows agreement to build a new Scott ish terminal at Loch Ryan and includes an investment of £120 million in new Ro-pax ferries for the route. The new facility is due to open in Autumn 2011. It will reduce crossing time by 30 minutes with similar time savings accessing the Scott ish Motorways. Dublin will host the 3rd European Shortsea Congress on 29-30 June. The IMDO led event will focus on the impediments and how to counteract them, to the further economical Waterford Port

MV Julia

IEA hosts WCO Irish Exporters Association (IEA) hosted a meeting with Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) on 2 March in Dublin. Mr. Mikuriya was making his first visit to Ireland and introduced the WCO with reference to the work currently undertaken on the Impact of the Financial Crisis, Security, Trade Facilitation and IPR.

Att endees at the Smart Move Reception at the EU Parliament

Fleet Maritime will report from the event which presented a unique insight into the key issues facing customs and trade internationally.

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GAC teams-up with AT&T Williams F1


lobal logistics, shipping and marine services company, the GAC Group, has entered into a partnership agreement with the AT&T Williams Formula 1 team, to develop cost efficient logistics services in support of their efforts to meet the demands of an industry-wide cost reduction programme.

on the AT&T Williams race cars, MAN TGX transport fleet and other areas in the team envirornment, commencing at the opening race of the 2010 Formula One season in Bahrain. The GAC Group will also be well placed to offer its services to AT&T Williams’ business associates and suppliers.

Cutting costs The strategic partnership will help the AT&T Williams team respond effectively to increasing pressure to reduce costs in the sport. Under the agreement, GAC will provide efficient logistics support in connection with the company’s Formula One freight requirements and oversee the management of the equipment for a challenging global programme that visits 19 different countries on five continents in nine months. As a result of the partnership, the GAC logo will get prominent branding opportunities

Motis Ireland Ltd serving Europe


otis Ireland Ltd is one of the most pprogressive providers oof shipping, transport and associated se erv services in Europe with se seve eve v ra thousand customers several in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe. Its broad network covers over 450 Freight Ferry routes throughout Europe, providing extremely competitive prices for any required destination. Motis Ireland Ltd., provides innovative cost effective methods of paying for French and Spanish Motorway Tolls, Passes for Alpine Tunnels, Alpine ‘Rolling Highway’ Services, Fuel Cards and Freight Insurance Services. Its Head Office based in Newry, Northern Ireland is open 24 hours, 7 days a week to take bookings. Local offices are situated in Stoke-on-Trent (England), Prague (Czech Republic), Istanbul (Turkey), France and Romania which cater for all of its extensive range of services throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The company’s aim is simple, to provide a one stop shop for European Transport Operators/International Hauliers, Couriers and Removals companies, offering an industry leading level of service at competitive prices, all year round. More information on

On track The agreement is GAC’s first collaboration with a Formula One team. Group Commercial Vice President, Bill Hill says, “We are excited to be able to partner with AT&T Williams in their logistics needs. With GAC’s global network, resources and track record in sports and automotive logistics, I am confident we will be well on track to support AT&T Williams in their bid to reduce overall operations costs.” Some of GAC’s sport clients have included the Doha Asian Games, MotoGP, the A1 Grand Prix, World Rally Championships, the eco-powerboat ‘Earthrace’ and Manchester United Soccer Schools. AT&T Williams Team Principal Sir Frank Williams said, “We are delighted to have formalised a partnership with a logistics specialist. I am impressed with GAC’s proactiveness, creativity and resourcefulness in helping us implement the most cost and time efficient logistics solutions. I believe that this is a start to a long and successful partnership.”

Ferries Of Cork In the 1996 publication, ‘Ferries of Cork’, mention is made of the Cork Dockyard located at Rushbrooke and, in particular, of the Ferries and Container vessels that were built there while under the management of the Verolme company. However, the booklet also made a small reference to a unique and ground-breaking project undertaken there in 1950. This was the conversion of a Royal Navy frigate into a car ferry for Townsend Car Ferries. The 'Halladale’ was a true pioneer Roll-On /Roll-Off Car Ferry with a capacity for 55 cars and 350 passengers and plied the Dover – Calais route until her replacement by the fi rst ‘Drive-Th rough' ferry the ‘Free Enterprise.’ We can find very little further information on this pioneering vessel. Readers who may be able to add to the story are asked to email maritime@

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