Feature, Freight News, Logistics, Road, Sea

Eurotunnel takes to the water

[ December 20, 2012   //   ]

Eurotunnel officially launched its new MyFerryLink ferry alternative to its tunnel shuttles on 10 December, promising a “businesslike approach” with a management team drawn from the private sector. Freight director Jean-Michel Copyans joins the new subsidiary from Brittany Ferries and, said Eurotunnel CEO, Jacques Gounon, the new management team would be drawn from business rather than the public sector.

MyFerryLink has taken over three ferries formerly operated by bankrupt French railways subsidiary SeaFrance – the Rodin, Berlioz and, most recently, the freighter Nord Pas de Calais which rejoined the fleet after undergoing maintenance on 28 November.

Gounon told FBJ that the fleet of three ships and staff of around 450 would be “the right size for the job”, pointing out that Seafrance had a staff of 1,500 for four vessels. The workforce, he added, were motivated and dedicated, many of them ex-Seafrance employees who had been out of work for nine months and were keen to make the new venture a success.

The new company was also operating a new seven days on, seven days off rota which would be easier to manage and give the teams more time to gel compared with SeaFrance’s two days on two days off arrangement.

The new service would offer competitive rates but would emphasise quality and efficiency and would complement Eurotunnel’s service, taking cargoes that the tunnel could not, he said.

In a statement, MyFerryLink said it would soon offer 24 daily sailings. The company noted that despite having gone into operation in August after the end of the summer season the company was increasingly recognised in the market and was progressively attracting clients. But it stressed that it was a long-term project on one of the most competitive trade routes in the world.


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