Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Following a spell of exceptional summer weather, the benefits of starting a holiday by setting sail across the English Channel with the famous White Cliffs as a backdrop have seen holiday makers flocking back to Europe’s busiest international ferry port.
Over this summer just gone the Port of Dover welcomed nearly 42,000 more cars compared to the summer of 2017 (573,076 in 2017 to 615,035 in 2018), a 7.3% increase, while 442 more coaches took thousands of additional customers on their way to France, representing a 3.2% increase from 13,885 in 2017 to 14,327 in 2018.
The busiest day for tourists bound for Europe was Saturday 28 July when 12,993 cars headed to Dover for the short-sea crossing to Calais or Dunkirk.
Barbara Buczek, Director of Corporate Development and Operational Businesses, said: ‘With so many holidaymakers reliant on us to get their well-deserved break off to the best start, we spend months planning with our major ferry customers and border agency partners to deliver an efficient and welcoming service. The flexibility and ease of ferry travel along with unrivalled crossing times makes Dover the perfect departure point to explore the rich variety of Continental Europe.’
Kasper Moos, Vice President & Head of Business Unit Channel at DFDS, added: ‘The increase in passengers travelling through the Port of Dover this summer, compared to summer 2017, re-enforces the fact that more Europe-bound holiday-makers are realising the benefits of ferry travel. As Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator taking passengers to Calais and Dunkirk, we’re committed to ensuring all passengers enjoy a fluid journey through the port and can get their holiday off to the best possible start. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the Port of Dover to ensure that this smooth process continues for all passengers.’
The photograph we publish here has been kindly provided by the Port of Dover: www.doverport.co.uk©
Some facts and figures about the Port of Dover
The Port of Dover is Europe’s busiest international roll-on roll-off ferry port, operating services through P&O Ferries and DFDS to Calais and Dunkirk (the Port also operates successful cruise, cargo, marina and property businesses).
Dover provides the shortest crossing point between the UK and mainland Europe.
The Port of Dover has evolved over the last 60 years or more to cater for high-speed just-in-time pan-European supply-chain movements.
Around half of the UK’s imports and exports are with the EU and there is no substitutable capacity anywhere else in the UK that can take the type and volume of goods handled at Dover, it has been reported.
In any year at the present rate of demand the port handles £122 billion of trade representing 17% of the UK’s trade in goods. In terms of traffic this amounts to five million vehicles comprising 2.6 million freight vehicles and 2.4 million tourist vehicles carrying 12 million passengers through the port.
Each day 12 ferries are handled in the port delivering 60 departures and 60 arrivals each with a 45-50 minute turnaround and moving 90,000 passengers over the 24 hours.
Each ferry has the capacity of 120-150 trucks per vessel and in a day ferries through the port carry up to 10,000 freight vehicles at a rate of 400-500 vehicles per hour outbound at peak (with a similar inbound figure).
It was reported on 5 December that MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has received deck machinery orders for four escort and four harbour tugboats from Cheoy Lee Shipyards Ltd in Hong Kong. MacGregor winches have been specifically designed to maximise vessel performance by minimising equipment weight, it is understood. These orders were booked into Cargotec’s fourth quarter 2018 order intake, with equipment deliveries planned on a rolling schedule commencing in the second quarter of 2019 through to the end of the third quarter.
Evolution not revolution. Autonomous and remote-controlled ships are being trialled but seafarers, for now, remain indispensable to safe shipping. These were key messages apparent from a special session held on 3 December of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, which is celebrating its 100th session. This was reported on 6 December by IMO which kindly provided illustrations.
Delegates were first treated to a song commemorating IMO’s 70th anniversary since the Convention establishing IMO was adopted in 1948) as well as the MSC 100 session.