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Steam Packet Company axe fastcraft Snaefell

18th January, 2011

The Isle of Man Steam Packet have announced a major cut back in their fleet as they attempt to reduce their operating costs following freight competition from coastal shipper, Mezeron.

Steam Packet Chief Executive, Mark Woodward, announced that the fastcraft Snaefell will no longer be part of their operational fleet and will be offered for sale or charter.

The high speed veseel, Manannan will now operate on the Belfast and Dublin journeys providing more capacity but will operate 11 fewer crossings on the Irish route.

The rival container service appears to be less than succesful with what would appear to be an unsustainable low volume of containers shipped and reliability issues in poor weather conditions. An average of twelve 40 units foot per sailing have been shipped since inception which is only 10% of the vessels available capacity. Nonetheless the removal of even this low volume of freight represents a substantial portion of Steam Packet revenue.

The sad part of it all is that, as we predicted, the Isle of Man is the loser in this freight war. 29 seasonal seafaring and catering jobs have been lost as a result along with the loss of Irish sailings which means less opportunity for visitors to travel to the Island.

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