zoom The historic passenger ferry route between Harwich and Esbjerg of DFDS Seaways, northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, has been struggling for a long time with high costs, loss of passengers and freight being switched to road transport. SIRENA SEAWAYS, the vessel which served the route since 2003.The route is therefore unable to bear the substantial additional costs that a new environmental law will entail. It will close on 29 September 2014.DFDS is now gathering its efforts to secure the major freight route between Esbjerg and Immingham and the many jobs that this route also generates.Unfortunately, 29 September will mark the end of an era and the possibility of sailing directly from Harwich to Esbjerg, Denmark, on the historic ferry route that opened in 1875 with the inauguration of the port of Esbjerg.The loss of tax-free sales and increasing competition from low-cost airlines mean that passenger numbers have fallen from 300,000 to around 80,000. Transport of industrial cargo between the UK and Denmark has also declined.DFDS has worked hard to cut costs on the route to make it more competitive. Among other tactics, the route was changed into a combined freight and passenger service, the number of crew on board was reduced, slow steaming was introduced to save fuel, the number of departures was decreased and centralised sales tried to increase passenger numbers with aggressive marketing. “But unfortunately we haven’t been able to reduce costs enough to enable the route to bear the very high additional costs of around £2m a year,” says DFDS CEO Niels Smedegaard.“This is what the new environmental law and the requirement to use low-sulphur oil will cost based on current oil prices from 1 January 2015. “The route is of particular historical significance to DFDS so it’s a very sad day for us all. Our regrets go to our many passengers who must now see the last passenger ferry route between the UK and Scandinavia close. It’s also regrettable that up to 130 jobs on board and ashore will be affected by the closure, even though we are fortunate that we can offer jobs to everyone onboard on other routes.”The Esbjerg-Immingham freight routeDFDS will do everything to ensure freight customers still receive a good service on the freight route between Esbjerg and Immingham. The two big and modern vessels offer a daily departure each way with a crossing time of 18 hours. “This route will also be hit by the substantial extra costs as a result of the new sulphur rules. We therefore need to keep a tight focus on costs to prevent the transfer of freight to road transport that will otherwise become a consequence of the new sulphur rules. We will therefore step up negotiations with employees, partners and other stakeholders to find solutions to reduce costs and increase flexibility. That will help us ensure the route’s development as an important transport route between the UK and Denmark – and also as an important employment base,” says Niels Smedegaard.Alternative passenger routesDFDS Seaways operates a number of passenger routes from the UK to France and Holland, including the daily Newcastle-Amsterdam service on the North Sea and the frequent cross Channel services from Dover to Dunkirk and Calais in France, which comprise up to 44 sailings a day. DFDS also operates two ferry routes into France across the Western Channel, which sail from Newhaven to Dieppe and Portsmouth to Le Havre on a daily basis.SIRENA SEAWAYS, the vessel which has served the route since 2003, will be moved to other duties.Press Release, May 01, 2014, Image: DFDS
Anthony Hearn, who was presented with an honorary degree, addresses ConvocationIt’s an uncertain world, but education gives new graduates an advantage, Chancellor Ned Goodman told more than 780 new graduates this weekend.Goodman spoke during two Fall Convocation ceremonies on Oct. 16. He told students about using one’s education can overcome uncertainty.“The speed, breadth and depth of change in our globalized and politically complicated world is greater than anything this generation has previously experienced,” Goodman said. “Believe it or not, this gives you an advantage — to be there with a fresh face and the capability to not be stuck with old and outmoded ideas and processes.“You should accept the fact that you or I or almost anybody cannot properly predict the future. The truth is, no matter your intellect or knowledge, the future has a way of humbling us all.”Rudi Kroeker, Chair of the Board of Trustees presented Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock Medals to undergraduate student Audra Sewell Maloney and graduate student Colin Perrier at the afternoon ceremony. The medals recognize students who exemplify the qualities that best embody the spirit of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock — leadership, courage, innovation, inspiration and community involvement.At Saturday’s 10 a.m. ceremony, pioneering math software developer Anthony C. Hearn received an honorary degree for his outstanding scholarly contributions to the field of computer algebra.Brent Faught receives the Brock University Award for Distinguished Teaching.In his convocation address, Hearn spoke about his career, and the incredible growth of the Internet and evolution of computer technology over the last 60 years.He encouraged students to use their intellect to keep up with the speed of innovation.“The message I want to leave you with is that this revolution is not yet over,” Hearn said. “Computer elements, processors, memory and so on, continue to grow in power, and shrink in size and price to the point that they are can be thought of as throw-away items.“Just when we think that we have reached a limit, a new technology appears. The pace of change makes it almost impossible to predict what the next breakthrough will be.”At the morning ceremony, Brent Faught, associate professor of epidemiology, Community Health Sciences, was presented with the Brock University Award for Distinguished Teaching. This was the second major teaching award he has received from Brock this year, having received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching at Spring Convocation.The morning also saw two Governor General’s Silver Medals, which are awarded to the students who achieve the highest academic standing at the undergraduate level, presented to Bailey Gresham and Norman Johnston.At the 2 p.m. ceremony, Dorothy Griffiths, associate dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, and professor, Child and Youth Studies, was presented with the Brock University Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity. She also delivered the afternoon’s Convocation address.Jubilant family members celebrate a graduate.
(The following is an opinion piece written by former President Donald Ramotar)From the time the APNU+AFC regime took office, it has been demonstrating a strong anti-democratic tendency that is leading towards another PNC style dictatorship.The first major indication was their totally insensitive action of hiking their own pay by more than 50% and allowances by thousands of percentage points.The latest action was the arrest of many officials of the former PPP/C administration. These arrests were all wrongful and, in the case of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, illegal.Former President Donald RamotarThe regime’s main purpose was to incite fear in the population.They not only arrested several high profile persons, but even went on to celebrate it.The party at the Oasis Café was the bullies were enjoying their “accomplishments: drinking wine and other exotic alcoholic beverages.Like the old PNC regime, the current government seems to lack national pride due to the fact that a British national is directing the work of SOCU. They seem happy taking orders from a foreign national, in this case, a citizen of Britain, our former colonial master.The APNU regime is in the process of subverting our institutions.The SOCU, which was setup to investigate and fight money laundering, is now being used as a political tool of the APNU.Its main purpose now is to harass PPP/C members and supporters.We are now also witnessing the creation of another body, SARA, whose leaders are already interrogating business people at the Ministry of the Presidency.Obviously, having set up this elaborate and very expensive apparatus, they will have to justify their existence, even if it means framing and setting up people. This is iron logic of where they will lead and take us.These bodies are stacked with relatives, associates from former law-firm, old Party hacks and other friends; another way of milking the treasury.Now, the regime is putting a Bill forward that is going to give enormous powers to the Executive Branch of government.The Bill states that the President will have the power to dismiss Ministers. That, however, is an authority he/she already has.The frightening one is the power being given to the Minister in the Ministry of the Presidency.He/she will have the power to dismiss elected Members of Parliament. This is a very dangerous development that will lead to authoritarianism.I say this because Members of that August body have been elected by the people. We cannot now give that right to anyone other than the persons that the Constitution so authorizes.The APNU regime’s attitude to the Constitution is that it is a piece of paper. So many of their actions are in violation of the Constitution that it cannot now be seen as an oversight or accident.Tender procedures are violated and awards are being made to APNU+AFC financiers. These are costing billions of dollars to our tax-payers.Appointments to Constitutional Bodies are being manipulated. The judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) are not being appointed. Attempts are clearly being made to pack the Court with judges whom the regime feels it can rely on. That is why some are saying – “we put dem deh, they gat to rule for us”.In the Parliament, the Speaker is not acting impartially. At the last sitting, he stopped M.P Nandlall from speaking about the salary of the Prime Minister after he allowed Jordan to talk about former Presidents’ pension.At every sitting, he disrupts the Opposition Members of the National Assembly when they are speaking.Constitutional appointments are also being subverted. A case in point is the position of Chairman of the Elections Commission. The Constitution is clear on who is so qualified yet the regime ruled a list provided by the Leader of the Opposition after wide-ranging consultations as unacceptable.All these are more than just signs.They are an indication of where we are heading.Already many are expressing fear; they feel that their rights are being violated. Almost everyone are of the view that their telephone conversations are being listened to.Now, they have moved a step further to stifle dissent by arresting opposition leaders of the PPP/C.It is important to point out that after the 1964 elections; the PNC regime targeted the PPP leaders as well. The PPP Chairman, Cedric Nunes, was detained for years, along with others.However, it was not confined to the PPP.Later, particularly after 1973, the then regime went against anyone expressing any views that were not in coincidence with that of the PNC regime.This is just the beginning.People need to defend the gains we have made in this country.No concession should be made to any violation of our Human and Constitutional rights.Stand up now before it is too late. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLETTER: President’s action a flagrant disregard of our ConstitutionOctober 25, 2017In “latest news”APNU+AFC regime is anti-democratic by nature – says former President RamotarAugust 26, 2016In “Politics”Former President slams Kaieteur News for publishing ‘wild fabrications’ – in desperate effort to retain some ‘relevance’February 2, 2016In “Local News”