Doubts over sustainabilty of proposed new shipping line
14th October, 2013
Captain Norman Leece, Managing Director of Ramsey based shipping company Mezeron Ltd has expressed his doubts over the viability of the proposed Heysham to Douglas service to be operated by Ellan Vannin Lines early next year.
Ramsey-based Mezeron's vessel Silver River makes two return trips to Glasson Dock in Lancashire and one to Belfast each week.
The company says it's carrying fewer cargoes of building supplies than in recent years, due to the lack of major infrastructure projects in the Island, but it's retained around 400 local customers, competing for freight loads in some areas with the Steam Packet.
Next year rival operation Ellan Vannin Lines is due to begin a freight service between Douglas and Heysham.
A spokesman for Ellan Vannin Lines said negotiations were still underway over the purchase of the ro-ro container vessel MV Cometa from its current owner, Norwegian shipping line Nor Lines. Although there appears to be no mention of the setting up of any infrastructure to support the service.
Hear what Manx Independent Carriers Chairman, John Quaye, had to say about the proposed new service by clicking on this link.
In August this year, Channel Island shipping company Huelin Renouf stopped trading after urgent talks to save it failed.
In a statement on its website, the company said directors had taken the difficult decision to wind up the business after 80 years of trading. Another major freight carrier, Condor Ferries, said it could adapt its fleet to offer the "lift-on lift-off" type of freight service Huelin Renouf operated.
"This sad news comes as a reminder that the markets struggle to accommodate more than one passenger and vehicle ferry provider, and more than one major freight ferry provider."
The population of the Channel Islands is 158,000 people, almost double that of the Isle of Man.