The Norwegian shipping company Color Line has acquired the cargo ferry “Finncarrier” to increase its freight-carrying capability on the Kiel-Oslo route. From January 1st next year, the ship will go into service alongside the two big passenger ferries “Color Magic” and “Color Fantasy” between Norway and Germany. Three round trips a week are planned for the additional new ferry to complement Color Line’s daily passenger ferry departures.

Color Line expands Kiel-Oslo cargo capacity - An additional freight ferry helps road to sea switch
Image courtesy of Port of Kiel

Dr Dirk Claus, Managering Director of the PORT OF KIEL (SEEHAFEN KIEL GmbH & Co. KG) said: “I am very pleased about this development at Color Line. The cargo ferry will expand the possibilities for eco-friendly sea cargo transport growth between the EU and Norway. In addition it will mean a strengthening of the switch from road to rail on port hinterland transport routes.”

The cargo ferry “Finncarrier” is 155 m long, 23 m wide and has a load capacity of 1,775 lane metres. The ship was built in Norway in 1998, has a speed of 20 knots and is fitted with a modern exhaust gas emission scrubber. It is able to transport up to 120 trucks, trailers, containers or flats per crossing, so increasing the transport capacity on the Kiel - Oslo route by up to 36,000 cargo consignments a year.

In Kiel, the Color Line ferries (see also CruiseMapper) are handled at the Norwegenkai, where the staging area was expanded in 2012 by a further 10,000 m² as part of a north-eastern extension of the terminal. About 1.2 million Euros were invested in the development. Norwegenkai has, from the very beginning, been equipped with a rail connection as well as with a second ship berth which boasts a hydraulic RoRo ramp suitable for processing cargo ferries of up to 200 m in length.

“Before this year is out we will invest a further sum of well over one million Euros in the Norwegenkai to provide the ships of the Color Line with on-shore power connection from the coming year”, said Dirk Claus. “Along with Color Line we are putting our money on ecologically sound growth – as described in the BLUE PORT concept”, he added. Because of the additional cargo volume it is now worthwhile to re-start rail-ship intermodal transport services at the Norwegenkai. “The aim is to tranship up to 8,000 hinterland transport cargo consignments via rail. So the additional cargo ferry will strengthen rail goods traffic in the port as a whole and lead to more block train connections from Kiel”, said Dirk Claus.    

The “Color Magic” and the “Color Fantasy”, which serve on the Kiel - Oslo route, are currently the biggest ferry ships in the Baltic. They carry up to 2,700 passengers apiece and have more than 1,280 truck lane metres available as well as space for 750 cars. Last year, about 1.1 million passengers and 750,000 tons of cargo were handled at the Norwegenkai. The Kiel - Oslo route is the only direct service between Germany and Norway to be served daily by modern ferry ships.

Source: Port of Kiel