Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, July 04, 2011

Who’s winning the war in the Dover Cross-Channel Ferry Routes?

I came across an interesting article recently on the DFDS Seaways website (aka Norfolk Line as they used to be), announcing how for the sixth year they had increased market share on the short channel routes out of Dover.

Within the news article is a graph (reproduced below) from IRN Ferrystats that shows the percentage of car ferry traffic out of Dover carried by the different operators (Hoverspeed, LD Lines, NorfolkLine/DFDS, Sea France, Speed Ferries and P&O Ferries).

Graphically you can see the demise of Hoverspeed (in 2005) and SpeedFerries (in 2008, whom I’ve blogged about lots of times before), both of which were pulling in 12% of passenger numbers, and of course LD Lines who entered the Dover marketplace in 2009, talked enthusiastically about increasing their service following the introduction of the Norman Arrow, and then of course LD Lines pulled out of Dover in 2010. LD Lines only reached 5% of Dover passenger numbers so I guess the service cancellation was pretty inevitable.

Of the three operators that have remained constant during this 8 year period:
  • SeaFrance has more or less remained constant with 24 or 25% of the market share
  • P&O has seen a steady decline from 58% in 2003 down to 43% last year
  • And Norfolkline/DFDS has been the winner, picking up passengers from the other failed operators as well as no doubt also taking customers from P&O as well, with a steadily increasing market share rising from 3% in 2003 to 30% in 2010.
Statistics can be spun any way you want of course and what this doesn’t show is how passenger numbers through Dover have changed over this period, so no doubt other ferry operators will be able to show equally positive figures when looking at just passenger numbers or car numbers or somesuch other fact, but on simple market share analysis it looks like DFDS is doing quite well.

Graph of Dover ferry port marketshare from 2003 to 2010

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  • Lies, damned lies and statistics. How true that you can plot slightly different data to show just about anything you want to 'prove'. Pity the Tunnel's numbers were not included.

    By Anonymous Lesley, at July 06, 2011  

  • There is huge competition among plenty of travel agents providing cross channel ferries as of now. The statistics really clears out a point regarding more market share and good going of DFDS.

    By Anonymous dover ferry, at December 09, 2011  

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