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Celtic Link threaten to leave Rosslare(Read 3989 times)
Celtic Link threaten to leave Rosslare on: May 26, 2011, 12:32:21 pm
Celtic Link Ferries may leave Rosslare

Fintan Lambe, Wexford People.
A MAJOR ferry company is threatening to pull out of Rosslare Europort unless CIE bring their charges into line with other ports around the country.

Local company Celtic Link Ferries are one of three major companies currently operating out of Rosslare, along with Irish Ferries and Stena Line, and paid €1,546,000 in charges to the port last year.

Senior shareholder Willie O'Leary said the charges at Rosslare Europort - the only port run by CIE - are the most expensive in the country and he said Celtic Link Ferries, a Wexford company, may be forced to move elsewhere, having already received offers from Dublin, Cork and CRH (Concrete Road Holdings), who are developing a port at Arklow.

If Celtic Link were to leave Rosslare Europort it could immediately wipe out the port's profit, which was €1.6 million last year.

Mr O'Leary said that in Rosslare the cost of a truck and trailer coming in or leaving with Celtic Link is €54, while in Dublin - the country's biggest port - it's €26.

He said that even the argument that CIE provide equipment for unloading is not valid as private companies in Dublin charge €12 per trailer for that kind of service, making Dublin a total of €38, compared to Rosslare's €54.

He said Cork is even cheaper again and offered the company a year free if they signed up with them. CRH have also told Celtic Link they'll put a berth in place for them at their proposed Arklow port.

'Every port is cheaper than Rosslare Port, they are charging ridiculous prices,' said Mr O'Leary. He said it's so expensive to operate out of Rosslare that it could be now cheaper for ferry companies there to build their own port than continue to pay the charges.

' When we put this to the management, they told us to go and build one,' said Mr O'Leary. ' They are not interested in reducing prices.'

Mr O'Leary said that management at the port have never shown any interest in developing it in any way and have 'now pushed the boat out so far (in terms of charges) it's uncompetitive to be in the port'.

' The whole place is a shambles, a farce. The workers are good, but the problem is the management, or the mismanagement of the port,' he said, adding that the management there are 'rudderless and spineless'.

Mr O'Leary said that when Celtic Link Ferries took on the RosslareCherbourg route in 2005 the previous operator was generating income of €390,000 for the port.

He said that this has increased four-fold since Celtic Link Ferries put the Norman Voyager ferry on the route, as well as bringing in more business and passengers to the county, but that the management of the port are refusing to budge on the price, setting unrealistic growth targets for the company, during negotiations, for it to avail of any potential discounts.

Mr O'Leary said that while they don't want to leave Rosslare Europort, they may have to and admitted they have already spoken to their customers about the possibility. He said it they move Wexford will lose out'.

'Celtic Link Ferries will be going from Ireland to France, but we don't know if it will be from the port of Rosslare,' he said.

The company is due to take possession of a bigger ferry, with better facilities, in October and crunch time regarding a decision on Rosslare could also arrive before the end of the year.

Mr O'Leary said that while companies like Irish Ferries are primarily passenger driven and also carry freight, Celtic Link are primarily freight driven and also carry passengers.

However, he said they are carrying more passengers than ever as they offer less 'frills' than can be found on the likes of the Irish Ferries Oscar Wilde ferry, but do the crossings to France cheaper than anyone else.

He said they can only continue to offer this ' low fare' ferry service if they can keep their costs in check and a move out of Rosslare may be required to do that, pointing out that the port has already lost one freight company who received a better offer elsewhere.

If fees are this high, why have Stena or ICG said nothing about it? Would be interesting to see developments with a ro-ro facility in Arklow.....
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 06:11:37 pm by admin »

Re: Celtic Link threaten to leave Rosslare Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 07:56:24 pm
This would be a massive blow to Rosslare if it happened, to lose Cobelfret to Dublin was unlucky, to have Celtic Link sail away would be a disaster.

I think the charges really effect Celtic as they are a freight ship carrying passengers while Stena and Irish Ferries are passenger ships carrying freight, as mentioned in the article the business mix is different.

Rosslare does have its advantages with the multiple berths if there is a problem there are other options available for the ship, if they move to a single berth port in Arklow, what will be the situation with maintenance and dredging the port and hard standing to store trailers, trailer tugs and drivers etc. If you get a good service from the port then the charges are necessary evil.

The question for Celtic Link is has their business increased so successfully because they are based there or despite being based in Rosslare.

Always enjoy watching the trucks reversing onto the Norman Voyager in Rosslare, great admiration for the drivers doing that.

Nothing to do with Celtic Link but I wish that the port authority in Rosslare would sort out the signage and internal road network for traffic arriving into the port, to be first of the Europe or Inishmore as a first time visitor must be bewildering, they are very few signs or markings to let you know where to go or how to leave the port. Rosslare you can do better.

Re: Celtic Link threaten to leave Rosslare Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 12:57:42 am
I did hear that the Port of Cork was trying to attract Celtic Link to Cork and had put a very attractice package on the table to do this.
Personally I would love to see CIE get a substantial kick in the arse for its managment of Rosslare , the loss of Celitc Link would be a good lesson in customer relations for them.

Re: Celtic Link threaten to leave Rosslare Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 01:49:27 pm
I did hear that the Port of Cork was trying to attract Celtic Link to Cork and had put a very attractice package on the table to do this.

There was talk about the Port of Cork making offers to Celtic Link before, but they said they weren't interested. In reality, at this stage, Cork is as good as Rosslare with motorway links to the rest of the country.... I still think it's all talk though....

Also, I think Celtic Link mean more to Rosslare than Rosslare means to them...If they do move, business will follow....
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 01:50:37 pm by admin »