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Svensk Sjöfarts Tidning
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Ro-Ro Technology
Scandinavian Shipping Gazette
April 18, 2008

A question of ownership

Finnish shipbuilding has made headlines during the last months. Unfortunately the interest of the press has not concerned the excellent ships delivered – it has mainly focused on the newbuildings not handed over in time. Aker Yards presented a poor result for 2007 and states that the losses have mainly been generated by ferries built in Finland. Many of the deliveries have been seriously delayed due to different problems. According to Aker Yards the operations in Finland are suffering from a high pressure on subcontractors: “A stretched suppliers’ market causes delays, and a number of deliveries from suppliers are still suffering from unacceptable quality”, they state.

  SSG 8

Rolf P. Nilsson,

Long hours on watch

Photo: Jörgen Språng

The working hours for masters and watch keeping officers on small vessels have escalated and frequently exceed 91 hours per week. Research student and Captain Fredrik Hjorth at Kalmar Merchant Marine Academy has studied how safety at sea is affected by the working conditions on board.

Bore's ro-ro vessel Estraden in a gale on the North Sea. Photo: Pär-Henrik Sjöström

Bore – New business areas complementing ro-ro
When acquiring Bror Husell Chartering and Engship, the Finnish shipping company Bore was primarily looking for expansion in the ro-ro sector. As an extra bonus Bore got two interesting new business areas.

The Tor Corona is the first of four sisters going to DFDS Tor Line. Photo: Bent Mikkelsen

The first China ro-ro to DFDS
The Tor Corona is the very first Chinese ro-ro vessel in the DFDS Tor Line fleet, but it was ordered and owned by an experienced ro-ro provider: the London-based Norbulk Shipping.

THEME: Ro-Ro Technology
Growing demand for an ageing fleet

Photo: Joachim Sjöström

Growing demand, an ageing fleet and the entry of private equity investors are signs indicating a positive future for the ro-ro industry and an accelerated newbuilding activity as soon as opportunities arrive, that is when there are shipyard slots available at affordable costs.

Deep sea and feeder car carriers and short sea ro-ro vessels in the port of Bremerhaven. Bremerhaven is one of the main car ports in Northern Europe. Photo: Joachim Sjöström

Ro-ro rules in Scandinavian short sea shipping
A considerable part of the cargo shipments between Scandinavia and the rest of Northern Europe are handled with ro-ro ships of various types. The lion’s share of the general cargo transported at sea between the North European countries is carried on ro-ro vessels and ferries.

Global ro-ro: Growing in niches
The concept of large combined ro-ro and container carriers has lost ground in the transoceanic liner services over the last ten year. The reason is obvious: The development of large-scale container systems that has radically lowered transport cost and transit time. This does not mean that ro-ro has lost ground in the deepsea trades – quite on the contrary – but it has responded and targeted the market for which it is supremely efficient: Wheel-based and non-containerized cargo.

With the Boogabilla, built 1978, the Jumbo ramp was introduced and the ship represented an important step in the ro-ro development. Photo: SSG archive

Göteborg – the capital of ro-ro
Göteborg has been called the ro-ro capital and the city has a long tradition in this section of shipping. “I think we must go back to the old Transatlantic in Göteborg and Wilhelmsen in Oslo, which decided to develop the traditional ro-ro vessels that just had a hole in the stern and equip them with a large ramp. This was in the late 1960s”, says ­Erkki Persson, former head of both shipyards and cargo equipment companies.

More effective cargo handling will be important in the future. Photo: Stena Ro-Ro

Larger and faster ships in the future
The ro-ro and ro-pax vessels of the future will probably, at least to a large extent, look more or less like the vessels of today. However, as the vessels will be either purpose built for a designated market or more generally for the open market, the design will vary slightly. The speed will likely be a few knots above 20 and the vessels will be larger than today.

The first G1 Atlantic Span was relieved by the first G3 Atlantic Companion. ACL is now gearing up to find the next generation of Atlantic-crossing ConRos. Photo: SSG Archive

ACL on the go with the fourth generation
Having pioneered the ro-ro liner service over the North Atlantic with three generations of state of the art vessels and innovative logistic concepts, Atlantic Container Line is mobilising to introduce a fourth generation of con-ros, the G4 vessels.

Bore wanted their own, tailor-made version of Flensburger’s well-proven ConRo-concept, which they call Bore RoFlex.

Bore + ConRo = RoFlex
Hoistable car decks and a powerful main engine are characteristics of Bore’s new RoFlex concept. Two vessels of this type will be delivered in 2011. In 2007 Bore ordered two large ro-ro vessels from the German shipyard Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft GmbH & Co. KG for the total cost of more than EUR 100 million. As many times before, Bore once again chose to go for new innovations and the latest available technology.

SSN builds two ro-pax ferries for Unity Line’s traffic between Poland and Sweden.

Polsteam expands on ferry tonnage
Although new ferries have been added to Unity Line’s ferry service between Poland and Sweden, there is still a need for further increase of capacity. Polsteam has ordered two new ferries for delivery in 2010 and 2011.

Construction in the FSG hall. FSG just announced a record seven-ship order for British and Turkish customers.

FSG stands firm as ro-ro market gets tougher
German ro-ro shipbuilding leader Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) currently has enough work to keep it busy until February 2013 – that’s a longer capacity utilisation period than any other German yard, including cruise ship builder Meyer.

Seatruck orders four Flensburger ro-ros
Seatruck Ferries, the Clipper owned ro-ro service on the Irish Sea crossings, has signed up with Flensburger Schiffsbau Ges for another four ro-ro units with a slightly higher capacity than the four units currently under construction in Huelva, Spain.

The Misida loading paper in the port of Rauma. There is one wide stern ramp but a separate stern door on the port side provioding access to the weather deck. Photo: Pär-Henrik Sjöström

Misana and Misida: Tailor-made but still flexible
Forest products, cassettes and trailers – Godby Shippings’ new duo is optimised for several different types of cargo. Managing Director Dan Mikkola says that it is a question of which cargoes are the most likely to be carried by vessels like these during their lifespan.

The Norwegian flagged Amber approaching the new ro-ro berth at the Atlantkaj in Esbjerg. Photo: Bent Mikkelsen

Esbjerg – working ro-ro since the bacon revolution
Port of Esbjerg believes in ro-ro, being the first Danish port to adopt the vehicle concept in the middle of the 1960s. As of today, the ro-ro business has a central part in the master plan for the future of Port of Esbjerg.

Photo: Anna Lundberg

Looking for the perfect time to order
John Engström at Swedish Dag Engström Shipping stands with the specification in hand, funds are substantial after several good ship deals and he has been travelling the world of shipbuilding yards for some years now. Everything is prepared, down to the last detail, for ordering a number of new ro-ro ships. But when is the right time to order?

Photo: Joachim Sjöström

Shortsea XML focusing the main obstacles
For all the efforts to sharpen the competitive edge of shortsea shipping in Europe, the industry has never managed to free itself from a burden of shipping-specific documentation.

The ferries Vesborg and Sam-Sine on the Hou–Selvig run will be replaced in October. Photo: Bent Mikkelsen

Nordic Ferry Service takes over more services
Nordic Ferry Service will add another piece to its new jigsaw puzzle of Danish domestic ferry services this autumn. The company is about to be the umbrella for Danish domestic ferry services covering Bornholmstrafikken, Langelandstrafikken (Spodsbjerg–Tårs), Alstrafikken (Bøjden–Fynshav), Fanøtrafikken (Esbjerg–Fanø) and Samsøtrafikken (Hou–Sælvig and Kolby Kaas–Kalundborg).

With the SPS tecnique cargo decks can be repaired at the same time as other work is carried out on the vessel. Beams are placed as weights to each new plate to prevent them from slanting. Photo: Egert Kamenik

Sandwich plate on Kapella car deck
In January the Estonian ship repair and conversion company SRC Laevateenindus invited its current and potential clients to observe a vessel repair work. The ship in question was the Tallink ro-pax Kapella, where a new car deck was being installed.

Also in this issue: News review, IT & Communications, Fleet News, Market Reports and more.

The next issue, Shipping and Ship Management, is due on May 16, 2008.

Latest update 17-04-2008 08:46


No 24/2008
SST Ships of the Year

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