Tuesday, July 21, 2015

RoRo Freight and Passenger Ferry Service Resumes - But All Far From Well in Calais

Fires on the Tracks as Workers Signal Disapproval Again
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – In yet another ironic twist the situation in the Port of Calais has worsened, just as we are being told the ‘situation has been resolved’. In a press release from DFDS Seaways the first sailing on its new RoRo freight and passenger service to and from Dover was announced as officially leaving Dover at 10:15 hours on July 21.

The announcement says, ‘Following a meeting at the Ministry of Transport in Paris on Monday 20 July, with the participation of SCOP SeaFrance, Groupe Eurotunnel and DFDS Seaways, it has been announced that the blockade in Calais will be lifted and the port of Calais will re-open fully from 12 noon CET on Tuesday 21 July.’

Unfortunately however nobody seems to have informed the disgruntled workforce (we use the term lightly) which promptly set light to several bonfires of tyres on the main Channel Tunnel train tracks on the French side of the crossing. For a comprehensive history of this dispute simply type MyFerryLink into the News Search box at the head of the page.

As tail backs stretch for miles along the A16 motorway, for its part DFDS seem to believe that they themselves have sidestepped the criticism of the ex SeaFrance workforce, which is aimed mainly at Eurotunnel, which sold the Danish group the two ferries formerly employed on the tunnel owner’s own MyFerryLink surface crossing. Carsten Jensen, senior vice president and head of DFDS Seaways in the UK said:

“We will continue talks in Paris in a constructive way and we are delighted that we can now resume a full service between Dover and Calais. Our first sailing from Dover to the port of Calais was the 10.15 today and two vessels will operate a full service on the route from this time. We are very happy to resume our normal service between Dover and Calais and our customers will no longer be affected by the industrial action in Calais.”