ADRIATIC LINES LAUNCHES THE FIRST ITALY-GREECE SERVICE DESIGNED FOR FREIGHT: “WE ARE HERE TO STAY“
The Adriatic Lines (ADL) program, as part of the “modal shift actions” of the Marco Polo Project, is launching a new route that connects the Italian port of Ravenna with the Greek port of Corinth. The project is funded by Marco Polo in this area focusing on shifting as much freight as possible from road to Short Sea Shipping, rail and inland waterways. ADL program is a new driver accompanied freight ferry service with 3 scheduled weekly sailings between the ports of Ravenna (italy) , Igoumenitsa(Greece) and Corinth(Greece), which are soon expected to be increased to 6. This program resulting in modal shift from the road cargo flows originating in Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria. The total amount of the project is 4.446.600 euro.
Adriatic Lines (ADL) is a joint venture between Greek Ocean Finance Ltd and Italian Trans Ferry Spa. ADL is the first shipping company in the Adriatic region, which provides services between Italy and Greece that is exclusively for freight.
From January 2010, the service will include a halfway call at the port of Igoumenitsa, to better service the needs of hauliers both to and from Turkey, Bulgaria and the surrounding countries. The departure and arrival timetables are designed around the needs of freight transporters.
The service is not available to tourist traffic. This is something new in the Adriatic where most of the routes and vessels are designed primarily for the passenger market whilst also providing freight capacity : their timetables and on board services are designed for the tourist traffic and in peak season the freight capacity is reduced in order to allow maximum passenger numbers.
The route is operated by the twin vessels M/V Ropax 1 and Ropax 2, each has a loading capacity of 165 lorries and trailers, along with the ability of comfortably accommodate up to 200 drivers.
The Managing Director of Adriatic Lines, Simon Taylor, said: “We chose not only ships, ports, timetables but also services that specifically cater for freight between Italy/Greece. This is not only a new line but a new way of thinking about freight on the Adriatic Sea, it ensures significant cost savings for transport companies and a better on board accommodation for drivers.
We have been said that it will be difficult to enter in the current context of overcapacity, and we will struggle to create and establish our position. Adriatic Lines are in partnership with shipowners, and have the support of two long established shipping and transport based groups. We and have been working on this concept for more than one year, and believe that freight customers have long been waiting for it. The decision to start in such difficult times is another evidence that we believe our business model is sound and will succeed. In other words, we are here to stay”.
The exclusive advantages
This innovative route allows the haulier to save kilometers and consequently time, avoiding high density traffic routes; it also offers significant advantages to both the transport companies and the drivers compared to the current routes that connect Patras to the ports of Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi.
* Choosing Ravenna allows access to a terminal which is exclusively for freight, with secure parking for 300 trailers. The geographic position of Ravenna allows the haulier to shorten the trip to Northern Italy by approximately 150 km, thus saving 3 to 5 hours compared to Ancona, with considerable benefits both in economic terms and driving time.
* Choosing Corinth allows the vessels to discharge just 65 km from Athens. The highway between Corinth and Athens is far less congested than the route from Patras, saving 135 km and close to 4 hours in driving time.
* The Ropax vessels provide the drivers with a refurbished and comfortable environment with single or double rooms, each en suite; Adriatic Lines offers an “all inclusive” service on board without any further costs for the driver, contrary to the current situation on other ships on the Adriatic, where the drivers cabins are often four berth and the food is charged, even if with a discount.
* The tailor made business approach, the various web based services (such as electronic invoicing, booking and online tracking), the 24 hours assistance and the management at the port are all designed for freight transporters, shippers and drivers. These value added tools allow the haulier to plan with confidence whilst reducing administration. These advantages give freight customers a priority service all year round, a route that is designed for freight, a better service for drivers : all of which add up to a saving of up to 25%
The service is provided with two twin ships that belong to the passenger ship category: Ropax 1 and Ropax 2. The two ships have been totally refurbished at the shipyards of Liverpool in 2008.
They have a 3150 linear metre loading capacity distributed on 4 decks and can carry up to 200 drivers and passengers. The structure of the loading decks allows access to practically every kind of freight vehicle and also carries out the loading/unloading operations easily and safely.
* the maximum height allowed is 4.9 metres from the ground.
* the total internal width amounts to 28 metres
* the loading lanes are 3 metres wide
* the access ramp hatches are 8 metres wide On board, the ships provide 120 “all inclusive” rooms, each of them en suite, a self-service restaurant with high quality food and beverages, cinema, wireless internet connection and a convenience shop. The ships are operated and managed by the Greek operation – based at Piraeus – of the world leading ship management Group Vship, responsible for the technical management of over 1000 ships. Port agents are Sfacs in Ravenna and Kaskoutas Shipping Agency in Corinth.