Seaborne Freight wins share of no-deal Brexit ferry plan
December 31st, 2018 10:06 GMT
by Andy Pierce
A passenger shipping startup has won a share of a controversial UK ferry contract engineered as part of the government’s no-deal Brexit planning.
French ferry veteran to head up Seaborne Freight’s dream team
Seaborne Freight, which came to the industry’s attention in May this year, is a beneficiary of a government deal alongside established players DFDS and Brittany Ferries.
The action from the ruling Conservative Party have not been well received, with Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable branding the decision "complete madness", according to Reuters.
Seaborne Freight has secured a £14m portion of the £100m ferry contract, with a larger slice for the established names.
The vessels will serve the UK ports of Poole, Plymouth and Portsmouth in the event a Brexit deal backed by Prime Minister Theresa May is not approved by Parliament.
In a statement, the government said the ferry actions were a small but important part of its planning for a no-deal Brexit.
TradeWinds reported on the launch of Seaborne Freight in May, with the company aiming to reopen the Ramsgate to Ostend ferry route at a time Brexit chaos was already dominating daily headlines.
The project was slated to cost about $100m, with all but $25m to $30m of the finance lined up.
While Seaborne Freight was a new name to the shipping business, the key players behind the company were known figures in the industry.
Chief executive Jean-Michel Copyans is a ferry industry veteran who began his career with the marine operations of French state-owned railway company SNCF.
Chief operating officer Glenn Dudley has a background in freight marketing for Sealink and MyFerryLink, while Karin Schodel Luzio, who also worked for Sealink, will be freight director.