The historically high fuel prices have a major impact on Rederij Doeksen's business operations. In particular, the exorbitant price increase of LNG, the fuel on which the two newest ferries of the shipping company sail, is the reason the costs of maintaining the ferry connection with Terschelling and Vlieland are extremely high.
Measures are unavoidable and that is a real shame, because we have recently invested in sustainable new ferries that run on LNG, our customer satisfaction is very high and we are transporting a record number of passengers and vehicles this year. But the enormously high fuel prices hit our company hard. Compared to January 1, 2021, the price of gas oil has increased by approximately 200% and that of LNG by even 900%.
We will therefore take the following measures as of September 13, 2022:
- The MS Friesland will execute the main service on the Terschelling line, instead of LNG ships MS Willem Barentsz and MS Willem de Vlamingh (which will continue to provide the extra sailings on busy days);
- Because the MS Friesland has a larger car deck capacity, slightly fewer sailings of the car ferries to and from Terschelling are needed. The total capacity per day does not change;
- Because the MS Friesland is less sustainable than the LNG ferries, from week 38 the ship will sail on a biodiesel to which 7% HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) and a fuel additive have been added. In this way, the extra emissions resulting from the execution by MS Friesland in the main service are limited as much as possible;
- The sailing time of the LNG ships will increase from 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours. This results in significant savings on these ships because they run on LNG and this fuel is extremely expensive. The timetable will not change as a result.
We intend to continue this cost-saving package at least until the end of next year. This is necessary to ensure that the fuel surcharge, which is also necessary from 1 January 2023, does not become higher than necessary, the quality of the service remains good and that we continue to have sufficient, qualified employees also after this fuel crisis. Very important, especially in this time.
The required fuel surcharge for this package of measures is 16%, which leads to an increase of € 4.75 per card type/supplement. The package of measures and the surcharge is currently being discussed with various parties, including the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, who granted us our public service contract and who must give permission for the fuel surcharge.