Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan delivers an update each month which summarizes Interferry activities including regulatory updates, conference developments and membership news. The CEO Update is sent out by email to our mailing list and is announced on Twitter via @InterferryOrg and Interferry’s company page on LinkedIn.

Hello Ferry Friends,

In this month’s report, I would like to highlight the recent Cruise and Ferry Review (CFR) Ferry Business report published in collaboration with Interferry, invite you to view an excellent presentation delivered at our recent conference on electrical shore power infrastructure, provide an update on our efforts to revise the HSC Code’s minimum speed requirement and direct your attention to our 2022 Seattle conference website.

Cruise and Ferry Review – Ferry Business report

I hope you’ll agree that our semi-annual report featuring a number of our members is well worth the read.

In the recently issued Autumn/Winter 2021 edition, there’s a commentary from me followed by CFR’s Ferry Business expert Simon Johnson speaking with Brittany Ferries and Interislander about the state of the ferry industry. Christophe Mathieu outlines how Brittany Ferries is making its business more resilient in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and shares his outlook for the future of the ferry sector. Walter Rushbrook explains how the crucial role Interislander played in New Zealand’s emergency response to the pandemic has helped to cement its future in the ferry industry.

In addition, Susan Schrempf describes how Owen Sound Transportation Company’s ferry services in Ontario, Canada have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic; Marcos Marí Washbourne discusses how Trasmapi is improving the customer experience in the competitive Balearic Islands market; and Inmarsat’s Les Shortall illustrates how the company’s solutions are enabling a revolution in digitalization.

Michael Grey wraps up the edition with his commentary on the options available to ferry operators as they contemplate how to make their vessels greener.

You can find the link to the latest Ferry Business report here.

Andy Bennett – KPFF – Shoreside Electrical Infrastructure Presentation

As I discussed in my update last month, the ferry industry’s success in achieving its zero emission ambitions in the coming decades, as well as meeting the IMO, EU and other jurisdictions emissions reduction targets, is highly contingent on the provision of adequate electrical infrastructure by third parties at our ports and terminals.

You will continue to hear much more about what we can do individually and collectively on this issue in the months to come.

For those that may not be familiar with the many aspects of shoreside electrical infrastructure, I encourage you to watch Andy Bennett of KPFF’s 12-minute presentation that he recently delivered at our Santander conference. It provides a comprehensive yet simple understanding of the many components needed to deliver a kwh of electricity from cradle to crypt, i.e. upstream to quayside.

Click here to watch Andy’s presentation.

Proposed Revisions to the HSC Code

The specific safety regulations of High-Speed Craft (HSC) are set out in the HSC Code, under which vessels must have a minimum design speed – typically 30-40 knots. In recent times this requirement has been called into question due to ever-increasing regulatory demands to reduce GHG emissions. Interferry established an industry consortium with aluminum ferry manufacturers Austal and Incat, and classification society DNV in 2019, which commissioned Seaspeed Marine Consulting to review the Code and identify any implications of removing or adjusting the current minimum speed requirement.

Our aggressive plan was to submit a proposal to the IMO during 2020, but the pandemic has caused all new issues to be deferred until 2022. Regardless of the IMO’s general scheduling of revisions, we could not have expected our proposal to enter into force until the next SOLAS revision in 2028 – although individual Flag States would likely issue exceptions far sooner if the ongoing IMO work indicated support.

In addition to the speed issue, the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) initiative is a particular concern for HSC. Following the Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting last June (MEPC 76), a correspondence group including Interferry was set up to consider various outstanding details on GHG emissions by the end of August – not the least of which was how to ensure a fair CII dataset for HSC. The current formulae severely disadvantage HSC because there is no distinction between them and conventional ro-pax vessels. Interferry is asking the IMO to separate the sub-segments so that each is treated fairly.

We all recognize the imperative to move on from a fossil-fuel world, and are happy to contribute, but we must avoid a statistical method that is not firmly anchored in reality. Before our IMO submission is discussed next October, we will reach out to relevant Flag States to affirm their support of the concept. In addition, while the issue is purely environmental, procedurally we have to voice our concerns with the Maritime Safety Committee, the guardian of the HSC Code. To that end, we also need to engage more widely – even with Flag States who have no inherent interest in HSC.

For a more detailed explanation of this complex subject, please refer to our briefing in the Regulatory Affairs section.

2022 Seattle Conference

This month we had the opportunity to visit Seattle and finalize the major venues necessary to ensure the delivery of another top-notch conference next October. We are pleased to announce that we have secured the beautiful Bell Harbor International Conference Center located on the Seattle waterfront for the Speakers Program, with the two host hotels – The Edgewater and the Seattle Marriott Waterfront – located a short walk away. As an added benefit, our two host companies – Washington State Ferries and FRS Clipper – also have their operations in the immediate area.

I invite you to visit our conference website – –  on a frequent basis to get more information about Interferry46. I will also continue to provide updates in this column.

We are already getting a number of inquiries regarding the Seattle Speakers program and sponsorship opportunities. We expect to announce the theme for next year’s conference early in the New Year, with a Call for Papers being issued in the Spring. As for sponsorships, we are currently confirming commitments from existing sponsors and expect to present opportunities for new sponsors early next year. Please contact our Sponsorship Manager, Karen Giffon, at for any inquires you may have.

I hope you take the opportunity to read our Ferry Business report, watch Andy Bennett’s presentation and visit our conference website. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time, take care and be safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Greetings Ferry Fans,

October 2021 was a month that I’m sure many of us won’t soon forget, as it marked a return to normalcy for those of us that were able to travel to our Santander conference. Unfortunately, we were without our Australasian members who were unable to travel outside their respective country’s borders. So, let me start off this update by echoing the collective comments of our conference attendees – you were very much missed and we look forward to seeing you in 2022!

We have received ample feedback from our attendees that our 2021 event was a huge success. Interferry proudly hosted over 300 people in the beautiful seaside city of Santander, Spain where our team was able to provide the first-class Speakers Program and high-level networking events our members and attendees have come to expect, in spite of the challenges that COVID brings.

On that note, we have heard from reliable sources that our conference was one of the first international events held anywhere in the world since COVID restrictions first started keeping us apart. If this isn’t a true testament to the closeness of our ferry family and our collective desire to get back together, I don’t know what is.

In this month’s report, I want to provide some of the most noteworthy highlights from Santander – including the release of our Global Ferry Market Study, a change in future conference venue locations, the “Ah-ha” moment coming from the Speakers Program, as well as introduce the new Directors elected to the Interferry Board at the Santander AGM.

For our members, the full Speakers Program has been recorded and is available on our website here by logging in to your member account. The recorded content is broken down by session and speaker, making it easier to access the most relevant presentations for your interest. The sponsor flash video presentations are also included.

Release of the Global Ferry Market Study

We were pleased to release the results of our Oxford Economics commissioned Global Ferry Market Study in Santander. As you can see from the infographic above, the statistics are staggering and present an undeniable case as to the size and economic importance of the world-wide ferry industry. For example, with almost 4.3 billion passengers, we now know that our industry conservatively transports approximately the same number of passengers as the global airline industry with the added complexity of about 373 million ferry passengers bringing their vehicles along for the trip.

After much anticipation, we will now be able to use these concrete figures when meeting with regulatory bodies and governmental decision makers on matters relating to the ferry sector.

2022 Conference Seattle – Marrakesh Moved To 2024

During the Speakers Program, we formally announced the Board’s earlier decision to move our 2022 conference to Seattle. The decision to move the first visit to the African continent to 2024 was to ensure the post-pandemic success of our global conference in Marrakesh and showcase the true richness of Morocco. Götz Becker of FRS has graciously reconfirmed his commitment to host the 2024 Marrakesh conference.

We also are confident that Seattle is the perfect location for 2022 given its global importance as a port city and ferry dependent region, along with Interferry’s desire to showcase our strategic value in North America as we emerge from the pandemic. This change in venues was made possible by the exceptional support we received from two of our members – Washington State Ferries and FRS Clipper – who will co-host the 2022 event.

Here’s a link to the Seattle conference welcome video which I’m sure will more than whet your appetite to start planning your travel to the USA to attend Interferry46 taking place October 1-5, 2022.

Portside Electrical Infrastructure Development – the Key To Our Future Success

As a result of a recurring theme that crystalized during Interferry’s Santander conference, the ferry industry is now united in the belief that its future success in meeting GHG emission reduction targets, and achieving its goal of zero emissions, is highly contingent on third parties’ awareness of the need to rapidly develop electrical port-side infrastructure.

A key takeaway – or “Ah-ha” moment – coming out of the Santander Speakers Program was the conclusion that operators and suppliers can do all the right things onboard vessels from a technical standpoint (alternative fuels, batteries, hybrids etc.), but if the port-side infrastructure isn’t being developed to harvest the benefits of this technology by providing shore power, then ferries will not be able to achieve the emission reduction targets set by the IMO, EU and other jurisdictions.

A consensus viewpoint amongst ferry leaders in Santander was that ports and power companies are lagging far behind (in some cases up to 10 years) in their ability to provide the desired shore-side electrical infrastructure.

With the results of the Global Ferry Market Study, we now have the perfect tool to convince infrastructure decision makers of the compounding negative impacts of not providing ferry operators with the electrical requirements needed to charge their batteries and subsequently shut off their diesel generators. As a result, without such electrical service improvements, many operators may not be able to meet upcoming emission reductions regulations. This may force them to have to prematurely decommission some of their vessels, meaning that the future provision of lifeline and essential services will be compromised.

Stay tuned for more on this as it has been identified as an emerging high-priority strategic initiative of Interferry as we head into 2022.

Welcome to Interferry’s New Directors

I’m pleased to report that the following Board of Directors appointments were confirmed at our AGM in Santander:

David Gudgel, FRS Clipper, USA – 2022 Co-President
Patty Rubstello, Washington State Ferries, USA – 1st term Director and 2022 Co-President
Mauricio Orozco, Ultramar Ferries, Mexico – 1st term Director

On behalf of the Board and membership, I would like to welcome David, Patty and Mauricio to the Interferry Board, as well as acknowledge and thank retiring Directors Sean Collins, Amy Scarton and Wilco van der Linden for their many years of dedicated service to Interferry. During the conference, we also recognized the contributions of deceased Director, Gérman Orozco, with a moment of silence.

Until next month, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hello Ferry Friends,

As the calendar flips to September, we are now only a month away from our Santander conference. It’s hard to believe that after our record-breaking conference in London that it would take two years to get the ferry family back together again… and we are very excited to do so!

I realize that even as I write this update, uncertainty and trepidation still exist by some regarding travel from your homeland to Santander and back. While the regulations are ever changing, my research suggests that if you have proof of a negative COVID test and/or proof of being fully vaccinated – and your country is not on the “red” list – your travel may take a bit longer than in pre-COVID times, but it will be manageable. And certainly, it will be worth the extra time to reconnect with friends and experience all facets of our first-class conference.

Once you arrive in Santander – whether at the hotels, conference centre or other venues – rest assured we will be implementing all applicable protocols to ensure we are COVID safe. Also, you will be able to book an appointment with a certified third-party company to provide testing at a convenient time and location during the conference, so you can enjoy all aspects of the event knowing that you will have your test in time for your return travel.

To further entice you to come to Santander, this month I interviewed two key presenters as part of our Speakers Program, as well as one of our Technical Tour hosts. Here’s a quick snapshot of the three interviews that are each about three minutes in length.

European Ferry Market & Prospect for Recovery – L.E.K. Consulting

Becrom Basu, L.E.K. Consulting partner and transportation and logistics expert, provides an overview of the consumer research his firm is currently doing regarding the traveling public’s perceptions and views on ferry travel versus other forms of transportation. A key outcome from the research will be L.E.K.’s assessment on how long it will take our industry to fully recover from the pandemic. Becrom will release the results of this much anticipated survey during his presentation at our conference.

Becrom Basu, Partner, L.E.K. Consulting, UK

You can view Becrom’s interview here in the Communications section.

REGENT Seagliders

Billy Thalheimer, CEO and co-founder of REGENT, foreshadows what is sure to be an engaging and thought-provoking presentation. We often talk about transformation/step change, but these “Flying Ferries” truly fit the bill. You will also hear how some of our Interferry members are already embracing this new – but in many ways, proven – technology.

Billy Thalheimer, CEO, REGENT, USA

You can view Billy’s interview here in the Communications section.

Multi-faceted Technical Tour – ERZIA Santander Teleport and Astander Shipyard

Along with the unique opportunity to host an evening event onboard Brittany Ferries’ flagship, the Pont-Aven, we are also broadening our technical tour this year and offering visits to both the world renowned ERZIA Santander Teleport facility and Astander shipyard. During his interview, German Suarez, CEO of Astander, provides a brief overview of his facility and why a visit to it during the technical tour won’t disappoint. Who in our business would ever want to turn down an offer to visit a shipyard that specializes in ferry refits and conversions?

German Suarez, CEO, Astander and Astican, Spain

You can view Torben’s interview here in the Communications section.

With over 200 participants already registered for the conference, and traditionally the busiest registration month still to come, the entire Interferry team is more optimistic than ever that Santander will mark the successful return of the ferry industries’ most anticipated event. If you haven’t registered and/or reserved your hotel room, I recommend doing so as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

Visit the conference website to check out the Speakers Program and register online.

Take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hi Ferry Friends,

In this month’s update, I’m pleased to provide an overview of our two-day Santander Speakers Program being held on October 4 and 5. With an overall theme of “The Future is Ferries” and lineup of interesting speakers and topics, I’m confident that your time spent traveling to and attending the Santander conference will prove to be a worthy investment.

While this update focuses primarily on the Speakers Program, I’m also excited to preview my Zoom interview with Walter Rushbrook, Executive General Manager of InterIslander Ferries in New Zealand.

Santander Speakers Program – October 4 and 5

We’ve now finalized the complete Speakers Program and posted it on our conference website. Once you’ve had a chance to review the program, I hope you agree that this year’s line-up of presentations provides a great cross-section of topics that are top of mind for all of us in the ferry world.

In addition to presenting the long-awaited results of the Global Ferry Market Study that Interferry commissioned Oxford Economics to do on our behalf, we’ve lined up the UK transportation and logistics firm L.E.K. Consulting to present its recent customer research regarding the European ferry market and its prospects for recovery coming out of COVID.

And, since we are in Spain, we would be remiss if we didn’t include local experts to provide an overview of the highly competitive Spanish ferry market, as well as talk about the Spanish Shortsea Promotion Center.

Likewise, no Interferry conference would be complete without Johan Roos, Interferry’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, providing highlights of the work Interferry has undertaken at the IMO and EU, as well as with other regulatory bodies and government agencies, on behalf of the membership.

We’ve got something for everyone in areas of step change innovation, building more sustainable ferries, the push towards land and ship-based zero emissions, the blackhole and challenging world of IT security, the many tentacles of the customer journey and, most importantly, safety.

To wrap up each day, back by popular demand are the CEO roundtables that will see eight to 10 global ferry leaders from diverse operating companies provide their insights into their own companies relative to the topics discussed during the Speakers Program, as well as answer questions from the audience.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit abstracts in response to our Call for Papers. Unfortunately, due to the number and quality of submissions, we had to turn down several very good papers.

Have a look at the complete Speakers Program on

CEO Zoom Interview • Walter Rushbrook, Interislander Ferries

Walter provides details on Interislander’s recently announced newbuild program with South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard to construct two new 220 metre ferries. These vessels will replace the company’s existing three ships that provide service on Cook Strait between New Zealand’s North and South islands. I’m sure you will be interested to hear how these ferries fit into Interislander’s 1.5-billion-dollar transformation plan that also includes a complete reconstruction of their terminal facilities in Wellington and Picton.

One of the most interesting parts of Walter’s interview is when he talks about how the company, which is a division of Kiwi Rail, also provides railcar service between the North and South Islands and how the ferry design incorporates loading, via train tracks, up to 40 railcars on its lower decks.

Of course, these days no interview would be complete without asking about how New Zealand is faring relative to COVID and what travel is possible both into and out of New Zealand.

Walter Rushbrook, Executive General Manager, Interislander, New Zealand

You can watch Walter’s interview here in the the Communications section.

Thanks for reading my update this month. I hope you will check out the relevant and informative Speakers Program we’ve put together, and if you have not already done so, you can register for the conference here on

Until next month, stay safe and healthy…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Greetings Ferry Fans,

Summer certainly has arrived with a vengeance in the pacific northwest of Canada and the USA. As I write this note, the forecast calls for a daytime high temperature of 42 degrees C, which will surpass all previous records by a long shot! Events such as the “heat dome” we are experiencing certainly provides further proof that global warming is much more than a hypothesis, and that there is a real need to expedite our push towards zero emission energy sources. It seems very timely that the 76th session of IMO’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC76) wrapped up earlier this month.

In addition to providing a MEPC76 overview, I would like to update you on our conference activities. This month’s report wraps up with a Zoom interview with one of the most dynamic and innovative people in the ferry industry – Anders Rundberg, CEO of Carus.

MEPC 76 Outcomes

Like he has done for many years, Johan Roos, Interferry’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, attended the committee meeting from June 10-17 as our industry’s representative. He reports that the session adopted several greenhouse gas related regulations, but could not settle on major policy matters.

After intense discussions on mandatory technical and operational requirements to reduce CO2 emissions from international shipping, MEPC 76 adopted MARPOL amendments, including EEXI, SEEMP and CII.

EEXI seems to be feasible for most ferries, and for non-compliant ships the option of engine power limitation should be a practical solution. All international ships need to have their EEXI verified by the first renewal survey after January 1, 2023.

Comprehensive calculation guidelines have been developed for the CII, but its application is not as straightforward as the EEXI and – importantly – the consequences of not meeting CII requirements are very uncertain. Currently, the IMO Member States appear to favour “soft implementation”, but how individual States enforce the approach is as yet unknown.

With a heavy agenda of high-level issues, MEPC 76 was unable to address the many technical and practical details that need to be resolved. To this end, a Correspondence Group was established and will begin work in early July to be concluded by end-August. Interferry will focus on two principal issues within the CG: (1) How to deal with High Speed Craft in the CII framework; and (2) How to equitably distribute CII targeted reductions within the ro-ro cargo segment, which is so diverse, that some ships, simply due to their main dimensions, risk taking on a disproportionate share of the overall burden.

Alongside the outcomes from MEPC 76, further details have been circulating among industry sources about a unilateral European Union initiative known as Fuel EU Maritime. It must be stressed that this has not been verified by any public announcements from the EU Commission, but this potential regulation – in combination with the IMO developments – would be of fundamental significance for our industry.

What is known is that the pending regulation will be applied to all ships >5,000 GT operating from an EU port (i.e. also for domestic operations), and will consist of several parts: fuel standards, mandatory use of on-shore power supply at berth, expansion of current MRV scheme and penalties for non-compliance.

Please see Johan’s most recent Regulatory Update that provides further details on both MEPC76 and Fuel EU Maritime.

Santander Conference Update • Oct 2-6, 2021

I’m pleased to report that sponsorship and registration activity for our Spain event is brisk. It is a true test to how much everyone is keen to get back to face-to-face meeting and networking.

On the Speakers front, the response to our Call for Papers has been excellent. We expect to notify everyone who submitted a paper in the next couple of weeks. We decided to extend the deadline for submissions until the end of the month, because of some email/website issues we were experiencing related to communicating with recipients using Microsoft 365.

With regards to the logistics of the event, we’ve received inquiries about the conference hotel and plenary session hall. While it will once again be a first-class experience, things will be a bit different this year. There are two conference hotels to choose from – the Gran Hotel Sardinero and the Eurostars Hotel Real, which will host the farewell dinner. The Speakers Program will take place offsite at the Santander Conference Centre – a reasonable walk or short ride from the hotels. We will have shuttles moving people back and forth throughout the event.

As always, if you have any questions about the conference, please feel free to contact any Interferry team member.

Zoom Interview • Anders Rundberg • CEO, Carus

I hope you will find time to watch the interview I did this month with long-time Interferry member and Platinum sponsor Anders Rundberg, CEO of Carus. He provides his perspective on the ferry industry coming out of the pandemic, emerging trends in the customer-facing IT world and cybersecurity – something, unfortunately, we all should be increasingly concerned about.

Anders Rundberg, CEO, Carus, Finland

You can watch Anders’s interview here in the the Communications section of the Interferry website.

I hope you enjoy this month’s report. As always, I appreciate hearing from you.

Don’t forget to register for the conference. I look forward to providing you with an overview of the two-day Speakers Program in my update next month.

Until next time, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hello Ferry Fans,

The big news this month, as recently announced, is that at our May 2021 Board of Directors meeting, the Board gave its approval for our conference to proceed as planned from October 2 to 6, 2021 in the beautiful northern port city of Santander, Spain – hosted by Brittany Ferries.

The entire Interferry team is excited to reconnect with our extended ferry family after having to reschedule last year’s Hobart event to 2023. However, our enthusiasm is curtailed somewhat, as we recognize that some of our members will most likely be unable to travel to Spain due to their own country’s travel restrictions.

In other news this month, Johan Roos, Interferry’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, virtually attended IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC103) meetings. Johan reports that domestic ferry model regulations have moved one step closer to becoming a reality.

Also this month, I was fortunate to interview Bernard Dwyer, CEO of TT Line / Spirit of Tasmania, as part of my ongoing Zoom interview sessions.

Finally, in this update, I would like to remind you of the numerous social media channels that Interferry uses and ask for you help in “spreading the good word” to others in the industry via social media, as well as following yourself.

It’s a Go! Santander Conference • October 2 – 6, 2021

I’m extremely pleased to announce that the registration page on our conference website is now live and open for business.

The decision to proceed with the Santander conference was not taken lightly and was only made after a full due diligence review of the COVID-19 pandemic situation was undertaken – both globally and within Spain. It was difficult to make the decision to go forward with the 2021 conference knowing that some of the Interferry family from Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and possibly other parts of the world, may not be able to leave their respective countries to attend our annual conference. However, we felt that it was critically important to deliver a strong message that the ferry industry is open for business, as Europe and other parts of the world emerge from the pandemic. It is also important for Interferry to maintain its presence as the organization representing the global ferry industry.

Since safety is the core principle of our industry, we conducted a full review of COVID–19 protocols/requirements prior to a decision being made to go forward. We will ensure that all the necessary safeguards are in place to make this event as safe as possible. We are fortunate that the Speakers Program will take place at the very spacious Santander Conference Center – Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos de Santander – with ample room for social distancing. We will also continue to work closely with the host hotels, Eurostars Hotel Real and Hotel Sardinero, from a COVID-19 risk mitigation standpoint. Likewise, social function and tours will also be planned in a COVID-19 safe manner.

For those members who are unable to attend the Santander event, like in previous years, we will post a video of at the entire Speakers Program in the “members-only” section of our website shortly after the conference concludes.

Call for Papers • “The Future is Ferries” • Santander Conference

I couldn’t think of a better theme for this year’s conference than “The Future is Ferries”. One of the few positives coming out of the pandemic, is the realization by the public, governments and other decision makers of not only how important our industry is in providing essential goods and services, but also how safe it is to travel on a ferry versus other forms of transportation – from an ease of social distancing perspective.

In addition to the ever-popular CEO Roundtables, the Santander Speakers Program will include sessions on:

  • Solutions for GHG emissions reductions
  • Innovative ship and shore design technologies
  • Ferry safety and safety systems
  • Attracting tomorrow’s customer
  • Supply chain logistics

I encourage you to submit your proposal by the June 23 deadline to with a copy sent to me at Please note that demand for presentation slots is always at a premium and first-priority is allocated to Interferry members and conference sponsors, as determined by the merits of their submissions. As well, because Interferry is a not-for-profit organization, selected speakers are responsible for their own conference registration costs.

Here’s a link to our recently issued Call for Papers that provides more detail.

IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 103 • Domestic Ferry Safety

During May 5-14, MSC103 was held on-line with Johan Roos representing Interferry. From a ferry industry perspective, the most important item discussed was the development of a new instrument for promoting domestic ferry safety – an area that Interferry has been heavily engaged in over the years.

The IMO is developing Model Regulations for Domestic Ferry Safety for countries wishing to voluntarily upgrade their current set of requirements, enforcement tools and governance within their own borders, as IMO’s rules only apply to international shipping.

While this initiative has been slowed down by the pandemic, there is now a clear finish line in site. A Working Group will be established this October during MSC104 – with written comments received beforehand. It is expected that the much anticipated Model Regulations will receive final approval at MSC105 in 2023.

CEO Zoom Interview • Bernard Dwyer • CEO, TT-Line / Spirit of Tasmania

This month I spoke with Bernard, who is also an Interferry Director and a future Interferry President as host of the 2023 Hobart conference. We spoke about his business, the company’s recent announcement to build two large ferries for the Bass Strait, life down under during the pandemic and Australia’s path to reopen. I’m sure you will find Bernard’s interview worth the watch.

Bernard Dwyer, CEO, TT-Line / Spirit of Tasmania, Australia

You can watch Bernard’s interview here in the the Communications section of the Interferry website.

Interferry’s Social Media Channels

Our followers and influence on social media continues to grow as we expand our reach beyond the Interferry sphere. In addition to following our channels from your individual and company accounts, I encourage you to interact occasionally by sharing our posts or commenting when you feel you want to add your perspective. While “likes” are great, sharing is even better and helps get news about Interferry initiatives and events out to your networks. It also enhances the impact of our announcements and updates.

LinkedIn allows us to create longer posts and include media such as our CEO Interview videos. It is quickly becoming a very valuable platform for us. Our Twitter account is currently our most followed social media presence, and will continue to be a valuable tool for communicating Interferry news. Our Instagram account is growing, with our focus on this image-based platform to engage not only ferry industry types but also passengers and the travel industry. Our Facebook presence is used primarily for major updates and conference information.

Please check out and follow our social media accounts, if you aren’t already:

Twitter: @InterferryOrg
Instagram: @InterferryOrg
Facebook: @InterferryOrg

Well that’s it for this month. I encourage you to register for the conference as soon as you can so we can manage our number count to ensure we deliver the safest and most successful event possible. To say that the entire Interferry team is excited to see you in person this Fall would be the biggest understatements of all time.

Until next time, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hello Everyone,

April proved to be a productive but somber month for the Interferry team with the news of the sudden passing of Interferry Director and former President Gérman Orozco of Ultramar Ferries of Mexico. (Please see the in-memoriam piece at the end of this update.)

On the business side, we issued a news release supporting the EU’s initiative for COVID safe international travel via its proposed Digital Green Certificate. Also, this month, Johan Roos, Interferry’s Regulatory Affairs Director, provided an update to the membership regarding the important upcoming GHG deliberations taking place at IMO in May and June. As well, I interviewed Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of Stena Line, as part of my ongoing Zoom sessions. Finally, we continued to encourage ferry operators to complete our survey that is an integral part of our Global Ferry Market study that Oxford Economics is conducting on our behalf.

EU’s Digital Green Certificate (DGC)

On April 29, we issued a news release supporting the EU’s DGC initiative that is planned to go live in the later part of June. We are also urging other countries to consider something similar for international travel in time for the peak summer travel season. Such an initiative does not stop people from traveling if they don’t have a certificate, but will make travel procedures far easier for those who have this documentation.

This voluntary certificate, which is available free of charge in digital or paper format, would prove that travelers have been vaccinated against COVID-19, or received a negative test result or recovered from the virus. The DGC will not be a pre-condition for free movement and will be non-discriminatory since it can be used by people who have not been inoculated.

Here’s a link to our news release. I encourage you to share it with your respective governments, regulators and decision makers.

GHG Regulatory Update – Upcoming IMO Sessions

Arguably the most important IMO sessions that Interferry has ever been involved in will take place in May and June as future GHG emission reduction regulations are set to be cast in stone. The inter-sessional working group on GHG reductions will meet from May 24-28. The deliberations then conclude at the Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting from June 10-17 (MEPC76). Both sessions will be held virtually with Johan Roos representing our industry once again. Here’s a link to Johan’s recent regulatory update on the subject.

Zoom Interview – Niclas Mårtensson – Stena Line

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Niclas Mårtensson, CEO of long-time Interferry member and supporter Stena Line. I think you will find the interview very informative as Niclas provides an overview of Stena’s operational shift as a result of Brexit. In addition, he talks about Stena’s strategy as it emerges from the pandemic and its fleet renewal/revitalization plans. On a related topic, I also took the opportunity to ask Niclas about his views on the EU’s Digital Green Certification initiative. Thanks to Hamilton Jet, Hogia, and Liferaft Systems Australia and for sponsoring this month’s session.

Niclas Mårtennson, CEO, Stena Line, Sweden

You can watch Niclas’s interview here in the the Communications section of the Interferry website.

Global Ferry Market Survey – Final Push

We are about to wrap up our ferry operators survey that I’ve spoken about in my last few updates. If you have already completed the survey, thanks for doing so. If not, we still need your input.

The more operators – both members and non-members – that complete this half-hour confidential survey, the more data Oxford Economics will have access to when preparing its final report estimating the size and economic impact of the ferry industry on both a regional and global basis.

The Ferry Market Study report will be invaluable to our industry – on both an individual operator basis and collectively – as a key document to help influence governments, regulators and other decision makers when comparing the ferry industry against other industries in policy or economic matters.

Here’s a link to our website that explains the survey in more detail. If you are not sure how to participate in the survey or still have questions or concerns, please contact Shari Corrigan, Interferry’s Director of Conference and Finance at

Gérman Orozco – In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Interferry Director and former President Gérman Orozco of Ultramar Ferries in Mexico late last month. As many of you will recall, German hosted a very successful Interferry conference in Cancún in 2018. This conference was the first one in Latin America in Interferry’s long history and was instrumental in increasing our presence in that region. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Gérman’s brother Mauricio, his daughter Daniela and the rest of his loving family. We will never forget German’s dedication to our industry and his embracing personality.

Take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hello Everyone,

In this month’s update, I interviewed Shari Corrigan, Interferry’s Director of Conferences and Finance, to provide an overview of our global Ferry Market Study questionnaire that was recently sent to ferry operator members. Shari is overseeing the survey in conjunction with Oxford Economics and I talked with her about the reasons the survey is so important to complete.

This month I would also like to draw your attention to the recently issued Ferry Business report published in Cruise & Ferry Review magazine in partnership with Interferry.

I conclude my update with some commentary on the current state of our industry and travel, as we enter the second year of the pandemic with the busy and historically profitable summer season quickly approaching.

Global Ferry Market Study Survey Request – Shari Corrigan Interview

By now, all Interferry operator members should have received an email from me asking that you complete our survey as soon as possible. In addition, we will also be sending the survey to non-member ferry operators in early April. It is equally as important that non-member operators complete the survey, so we can get as accurate as possible estimate of the global ferry market’s size and economic impact.

If you are in either camp and have not received the questionnaire, or have any questions, please contact Shari Corrigan at

Speaking of Shari, here’s a link to a Zoom interview I recently conducted with her that explains why it is important for your company to complete the survey, how to do so and when the results will be published. I encourage you to watch this short video to get a better understanding of why Interferry has invested in this strategically important initiative during the midst of a global pandemic and economic downturn.

Shari Corrigan, Interferry’s Director of Conferences and Administration, Canada

You can watch Shari’s interview and read more about the study here on the Ferry Market Study page in the Communications section of the Interferry website.

Ferry Business Report – Spring/Summer 2021

Published in association with Interferry, the Spring/Summer 2021 edition of the Ferry Business report in Cruise & Ferry Review is packed with executive interviews from a number of our members and long-time supporters.

Ferry Business opens with a commentary from me, followed by a roundtable led by long-time Interferry supporter and member Simon Johnson of Shipshape Consulting who asks executives from Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Stena Line about the origins and benefits of their new E-Flexer ferries. This is followed by Interferry members, Peter Hebblethwaite of P&O Ferries explaining why he expects the ferry market to experience a boost when travel restrictions lift, and Greg Bombard of Catalina Express detailing how his company has remained successful over the past 40 years.

In addition, Abby Penlington of Discover Ferries, another Interferry member and key industry partner, discusses how her organization is working with ferry operators to promote safe ferry travel, while Interferry’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Johan Roos, examines how virtual meetings have helped the International Maritime Organization to expedite decision-making. Ferry Business wraps up with an interview with industry expert Michael Grey highlighting how ferry operators and ports in the UK and Europe are adapting to operational changes prompted by both Covid-19 and Brexit.

Read the Spring/Summer 2021 Ferry Business and previous editions here:

The Next Few Months

I’ve recently been interviewed by a number of trade publications, as well as mainstream media, on my thoughts about the ferry industry as we enter year two of the pandemic. In all honesty, it has been difficult to provide a succinct and coordinated answer. The race to inoculate the population and the easing of travel restrictions is still very much “all over the map” (pardon the pun!). While the UK, USA, and a few others are approaching the halfway point in the immunization process for people over the age of 18 – other nations, including those in the EU, and my home country of Canada – have just passed the 10 percent threshold.

While the speed at which immunizations happen and travel restrictions are relaxed is obviously outside the prevue of Interferry, it is critical that we are part of the dialogue and provide solutions for the coordinated and safe resumption of discretionary ferry travel. To that end, we continue to promote our COVID-19 best practices guideline for safe passenger ferry travel, as well as ensure that governments understand we are the best choice for socially distant regional travel – both domestically and internationally.

With regards to travel across borders, we are ramping up our efforts to ensure that the ferry sector is treated equally and consistently with other segments of the transportation industry. For example, we are concerned that ferry travel between north Africa and southern Europe is not allowed, but airlines are free to transport its passengers between the two continents. The same is also true for North America.

All this comes at a time with the summer season quickly approaching and many questions remaining unanswered. The biggest of which might be what form of proof/documentation will be required by governments at various levels to allow for the free flow of passengers? While we still don’t know what will be required and if a universal or even regional vaccination passport will be created in time, we do know that the ferry industry will rise to the challenge so that, once again, we will be ready to welcome the traveling public this summer safely and efficiently.

Until next time, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Hello Everyone,

As we are now well into 2021, hopefully you have received a schedule of when you can expect to get your first vaccine shot or, in some case, it is possible that you may have already received your first or even second jab. Here in Canada, people in my age group don’t expect to receive their first shot until some time in June, with the second one coming in the latter part of August. However, the timelines and information we receive from our various levels of governments is still somewhat uncertain and subject to change from one week to the next.

What is certain is that here at Interferry, we continue to work diligently from our home offices on several initiatives important to the ferry industry and our members, as we anxiously await the opportunity to – once again – meet our members and colleagues in person.

This month I would like to update you on our ongoing involvement in IMO’s GHG deliberations, provide a summary of Interferry’s recent Board of Directors meeting, ask for your assistance in completing a questionnaire as part of our Ferry Market Study and introduce my latest Zoom interviewee – Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram of Chao Phraya Express Boats in Thailand.

IMO GHG Deliberations

After two months of intense work developing our proposal on the on-going GHG discussions at the IMO, we put forth the following position related to CII to meet last week’s deadline:

  1. GT should be used as the transport work metric for ro-ro cargo and ro-pax ships.
  2. GT should also be used for ro-ro vehicle carriers.
  3. HSC should be taken out from the ropax CII reference line.
  4. It should be assessed if it is feasible to establish a separate reference line for HSC.
  5. The ro-ro cargo ship sector should be split into two sub-segments.
  6. Deep-sea container ro-ro’s should be separated from short sea ones.

With regards HSC, we have established a task force led by the OPC Chair Götz Becker to take that issue forward.
In addition to these detailed issues, there is a wider policy discussion going on between Member States – and between the industry sectors – on how to establish an equitable distribution of the total effort to be made to reach the IMO 2030 target of 40% improvement in transport work efficiency.

Interferry argues that a flat rate would be the best way forward, whereby each sector of the shipping industry has to improve by the same percentage between 2023-2030. This position is predicated on the pending agreement to use the well documented 2019 performance as the measuring stick, with a correction factor of 24% for all sectors – which is the general average improvement recorded since 2008 (the IMO reference year).

We did not submit any final comments on the EEXI, since it seems to be more than reasonable in terms of compliance for the ferry sector, especially with the added option to use electronic power limiters.

The commitment and amount of work provided by Interferry members to reach these recommendations is unprecedented. The reality is that there are no “right answers” to many of the concerns that CII raises. We have diligently assessed a variety of options before reaching an understanding of what is most fair for our members’ fleets. All decisions have been made based on solid data that has been scrutinized by our team of ferry experts representing both operator and supplier members.

In terms of the way forward, the IMO Correspondence Group report will be finalized in early March, after which the lobby efforts in May and June will commence ahead of MEPC76.

On a related note, we will hold our next OPC GHG virtual meeting on March 17 at 13h UTC.

For a detailed explanation of this particularly complex and technical file, please refer to the GHG page in the Regulatory Affairs section of our website.

Interferry Board of Directors Meeting via Zoom – February 10, 2021

New Interferry Chair Christophe Mathieu oversaw his first Board meeting last month with 15 Directors and Interferry’s three senior staff members in attendance.

In addition to approving the organization’s 2021 budget and management objectives, the Board recapped a COVID dominated 2020 and recognized all that we were still able to accomplish given the significant challenges we had to overcome.

Preliminary financial results suggest a very modest loss for 2020, which was recognized as a worthy accomplishment given the Hobart conference had to be cancelled and rescheduled to 2023. From a retained earnings standpoint, the organization is still in an extremely strong position at the end of 2020 – with a similar cash balance as it had a year ago before the pandemic set in. Likewise, membership retention has been strong, and the association only lost a net of four members during 2020. The Board believed this was a true testament to the value our members place in Interferry – especially during the worst economic downturn of our lives.

The Board further acknowledged the association’s strong regulatory presence at the IMO and EU, as well as other regulatory and political bodies. In particular, the Board made special mention of our lobby efforts regarding the GHG file, the publication of our best practices COVID safe restart guide and the launch of our campaign requesting direct and indirect pandemic financial support from various levels of government. The Board also recognized the association’s work in increasing its social media presence through the various channels we now manage.

Finally, the Board agreed to defer the final decision on the delivery of the October 2021 conference in Santander, Spain until mid-May, given the rapidly changing landscape regarding COVID travel restrictions and vaccine rollouts. Management advised the Board that it is fully prepared to host another successful conference in Spain and that all venues have been secured.

Ferry Market Study – Operators Questionnaire

As previously reported, Interferry has engaged Oxford Economics to conduct a Ferry Market Study on its behalf to identify the size and economic impact of the global ferry industry. Oxford Economics is currently collecting data from third party sources which is necessary to determine the physical size of our industry.

However, Oxford Economics needs our assistance in acquiring information from an array of different ferry operators – both members and non-members – from across the globe so they can reasonably estimate the ferry industry’s regional and global economic impact.

To that end, Oxford Economics will be conducting a confidential survey of individual ferry companies in order to gain enough information to be able to extrapolate the results into a meaningful estimate of our industry’s overall economic impact.

A successful survey will result in a meaningful study that can be used to influence regulators, politicians, and other decision makers. The member operator survey will be launched March 9, 2021. A non-member operator survey will be launched the following week. An email invitation to participate in the survey will be sent to the CEO of each ferry operating company. Given the importance of this initiative to our industry, if you are an operator, I ask that your company make it a priority to complete the survey.

Please rest assured that the information provided will only been seen by Oxford Economics and a select few at Interferry. It will not be shared with anyone outside of the two organizations or disseminated in a manner that could identify specific companies. Furthermore, the results of information collected will only be reported on a collective basis.

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey or study, please contact Shari Corrigan at

CEO Zoom Interview – Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram, Chao Phraya Express Boats, Thailand

This month I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mrs. Supapan, the newest Director on Interferry’s Board. She truly is a world-class business leader who has been acknowledged as one of the leading female entrepreneurs of the world. She has received numerous international awards, including the ASEAN Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs award in 2015.

Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram, Chairperson of Chao Phraya Express Boat Co., Ltd., Thailand

You can view Mrs. Supapan’s interview here in the Communications section.

I know you will be interested to hear from her about the three generations of female leadership at Chao Phraya Express Boats, as it celebrates its 100-year anniversary. During the interview, Mrs. Supapan provides an overview of her vast business empire, which includes marine transportation companies, upscale hotels, fine dining restaurants, a shopping mall and an outdoor advertising company. She also talks about her company’s plans for the future coming out of the pandemic and why she got involved with Interferry in 2009.

Well, that’s it for this month. I hope you enjoy Mrs. Supapan’s interview and please don’t forget to complete your survey.

Until next month, take care and be safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Happy belated New Year ferry friends,

I think it is safe to say that we have never looked so forward to turning the calendar to another year as we have moving into 2021.

In this month’s report I want to brief you on our latest thinking regarding our global ferry conference scheduled for October 2021 in Santander, Spain, tell you about our ongoing efforts to ensure the world is aware of ferry operators continued commitment to deliver life-line services, update you on our recent Operators Policy Committee meeting that focused on IMO’s GHG deliberations and introduce my latest Zoom interview with another ferry industry leader, Mike Grainger of Liferaft Systems Australia.

Update on the October 2021 Interferry Conference in Santander, Spain 

My level of confidence in delivering a conference in the beautiful seaside city of Santander in northern Spain seems to fluctuate almost daily given the news of the day. When the news of the vaccine rollout hit in earnest last month, my confidence level was high that Santander would happen, given the announced aggressive jab schedules. But my level of optimism has waned somewhat now that we are hearing about new strains of the virus, as well as concerns regarding the availability of the vaccines to meet the timelines first announced.

Given that we have negotiated maximum flexibility in our hotel and conference center contracts, our best course of action at this time is to take a wait and see approach until as late as mid-May. By then we should have enough information to make an informed decision. As is always the case, our industry’s core value of safety will be the deciding factor as to whether or not we proceed with the conference.

If our decision is to proceed with Santander, we will issue our Call for Papers for the Speakers Program and open registrations shortly thereafter. If we need to cancel the conference, we will identify ways to continue to provide value to the membership and our sponsors virtually, and in other ways, until we can hold the next conference safely.

LinkedIn Sponsored Content Campaign – “Ferry Transportation During the Pandemic: Delivering Essential Goods and Services”

As we enter the second year of the pandemic, we will be launching a LinkedIn ad campaign to continue to remind governments and regulators, as well as the general public, that ferry operators and the companies that supply and support them, continue to deliver vital life-line and essential services to the communities they serve.

Some ferry operators are government owned/controlled organizations, and many others are privately run companies. Regardless of their ownership structures, all types of operators around the world have incurred, and continue to incur, unsustainable financial losses while continuing to deliver much needed supplies to coastal communities – from medical supplies to groceries and everything in between. At times, ferries are virtually devoid of passengers and cars, while their deck space is full of commercial vehicles carrying essential goods.

The ferry industry will take years to recoup the losses related to COVID-19. In some places, passengers have started to return, and in other places, travel restrictions imposed by governments and health officials remain in place. Unfortunately, it is likely that some ferry operators’ balance sheets won’t survive this prolonged pandemic.

Despite the impact to the ferry industry, ferry operators continue to demonstrate their resilience, and are preparing to welcome passengers back when the time is right – recognizing that the public will most likely feel safer on ferries than they do on other forms of transportation for some time to come.

If you follow Interferry on LinkedIn the ad will appear in your feed.

Operators Policy Committee (OPC) Meeting – IMO’s GHG Deliberations

In our continued effort to ensure that IMO’s proposed new GHG and emission reduction regulations factor in the unique aspects of ferries and our operations as compared to other shipping sectors, we held an OPC meeting on January 27. Twenty-two participants attended, representing 15 OPC member companies. (Ferry companies are eligible to be OPC members if they self-select level 1, 2 or 3 of Interferry’s membership categories).

Johan Roos briefed attendees on the ongoing herculean efforts of Interferry’s GHG team to meet the aggressive IMO Correspondence Group timelines, and the March 12 deadline for final submission to MEPC76, which will be held in June of this year. This will ultimately lead to the implementation of new EEXI and CII regulations starting in 2023.

Based on our team’s hard work, we are now cautiously optimistic that the vast majority of our members’ ferries will meet the new EEXI regulations. For those who may have challenges, they will have the option of doing so by voluntarily reducing their engine power limitations to get their license to operate renewed when it comes due in 2023. As for CII, which is built on the concept of continuous improvement, the team is still working through our solutions for the ferry sector. A final proposal is required by February 10 to meet the timelines I mentioned earlier.

If you would like more information on this extremely important and complex issue, please contact Johan Roos at

Zoom Interview with Mike Grainger of Liferaft Systems Australia

This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Grainger, past Chairman of Interferry, Managing Director of Liferaft Systems Australia and Chairman of TT-Line Spirit of Tasmania. I think you’ll agree that Mike is a venerable choice to speak about the state of our industry.

Mike Grainger, Managing Director, Liferaft Systems Australia, Australia

You can view Mike’s interview here in the Communications section.

In his interview, Mike provides an update on the current situation in Australia, and especially Tasmania, relative to COVID-19. He talks about how his business has been impacted during the pandemic. From a supplier standpoint, Mike also provides his general assessment on the state of the new build/refit ferry markets, and his observations on the overall trend for owners investing in their fleets during the pandemic. As many of you who have had the opportunity to meet Mike know, he is always entertaining and enlightening.

A special thanks goes to this month’s interview sponsors – Rauma Marine Constructions and UES Seating.

Thanks for reading my report this month. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me an email or drop me a line.

Until next month, take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan, CEO – Interferry

Season’s Greetings Ferry Friends,

I hope you’re able to enjoy the holiday season in one form or another over the next couple of weeks – regardless of the size of your “bubble”.

As crazy as 2020 has been, we all still have much to be thankful for – both personally and professionally. Now that COVID vaccinations are beginning to be rolled out across the globe – there is real hope on the horizon for a return to a version of normalcy sometime next year. After all, hope is what truly keeps us all going during tough times, with the anticipation that tomorrow will bring better things than yesterday.

At Interferry, as difficult as 2020 was with the cancellation of our annual global conference for the first time in our 45-year history, and member ferry traffic plummeting by as much as 90% at times, we still managed to steer a steady course and stay focused on the key regulatory and safety items critical to our industry’s success in the coming years.

Here’s a summary of the most important initiatives we undertook in 2020.

IMO GHG Deliberations & MEPC 75/76

By now, you’ve heard many times about the importance of these GHG deliberations to the long-term success of the ferry industry, as well as our call to action to operator members to submit their data to us. I’m happy to report we have received an excellent response to our request, which will go a long way to ensuring that as many existing ferries as possible will be certified to continue operations when IMO’s new GHG regulations utilizing the EEXI (energy efficiency design index for existing ships) takes effect in 2023.

However, our work is not done. We still need members to continue to provide their input regarding the second part of the new regulations that deal with the concept of continuous improvement related to GHG reductions called the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII). If you haven’t participated in this portion of the project and would like to do so, please let us know right away, as we only have a couple more months of member consultation before we need to submit our final position on CII to IMO’s correspondence group in preparation for MEPC76 next June.

COVID Governmental Support and Safe Sail Procedures

Early into the pandemic, we issued a call for financial support to all levels of government across the globe on behalf of our members who continue to provide lifeline services while incurring unsustainable financial losses. We are pleased to see that a number of jurisdictions answered our call by providing financial aid and other forms of relief to many of our members. While the level of assistance was less than hoped for in many cases, as the old saying goes, “every little bit helps”.

It is worth noting that our call for governmental help was qualified by some of our members who stated that any form of government support needed to be done on a non-discriminatory basis, without distorting markets on competitive ferry routes. In fact, a few of our members advised their respective governments that they would not be participating in their financial aid relief packages because – in their view – the principles noted above could not be adhered to.

Interferry also took a proactive and leadership position with many regulatory agencies and governments by issuing a best practice guide for the safe resumption of ferry service when COVID-19 infections dipped during the summer and many ferry routes temporarily returned to more normal operations. While not a panacea, this allowed for a “staycation” market to materialize and provide some much-needed short-term relief for many of our members. This best-practice guide has been used by various governments as a blueprint for COVID-safe travel on domestic and international ferry routes across the globe.

Fire Safety

After several years of constructive deliberations, Session 101 of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) approved new draft interim guidelines on Ro-Pax fire safety. Interferry argued that some aspects of the voluntary guidelines required greater discussion to avoid unjustified construction requirements, such as the safe distances for life saving appliances in relation to ro-ro deck openings.

In March 2020, the seventh annual session of the IMO Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) sub-committee met to draft SOLAS amendments to be enforced from January 2024. Two main issues were unresolved at SSE7: the proposed prohibition of so-called open RoRo spaces, and how to assess which requirements should apply to existing (pre-2024) ships. This was referred to a correspondence group for ongoing discussion prior to reporting to SSE8 in March 2021.

The IMO has issued the interim guidance, which is voluntary in nature, but treated as mandatory by many Member States. Interferry supports the majority of this guidance, but would like some modifications before throwing its full support behind it.

Interferry’s Partnership in LASH FIRE

The EU-funded LASH FIRE project aims to identify and assess additional fire safety measures for Ro-Ro cargo and Ro-Ro passenger ships, with a view to promote industry uptake and to develop regulatory proposals. The project is populated by strong maritime partners, including 11 member Interferry companies.

Interferry has engaged John Garner as our project lead, including coordinating the efforts of the Maritime Operators Advisory Group, which is the main interface between the ferry industry and the project.

As part of LASH FIRE, in the fall of this year we co-sponsored a successful webinar with over 200 participants on the subject of “Fires in Alternatively Powered Vehicles”.

Domestic Ferry Safety and FERRYSAFE

Due to the pandemic, we have been delayed in making our application for the second phase of the FERRYSAFE project. We expect to do so shortly under the leadership of the new Domestic Ferry Safety Committee Chair, Oliver Weiss.

With regards to the March IMO Bangkok workshop on Domestic Ferry Safety, the in-person meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19. Instead, we participated and presented in a virtual meeting and provided a strong statement of support and assistance for IMO’s model regulations for domestic ferry safety. We plan to actively pursue this initiative once the IMO reconvenes its committee schedule in 2021.

Proposed Changes to the HSC for Slower Speed Ferries

Interferry has established an industry consortium with HSC manufacturers Austal and Incat, and classification society DNV GL. The group has commissioned a study to review the HSC Code and identified any implications of removing or adjusting the current minimum speed requirement.

The original plan was to present the findings to the IMO Maritime Safety Committee at the MSC102 meeting scheduled for May 2020, but this was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the timeline has changed, the way forward remains the same.

The presentation will be made whenever MSC102 is reconvened. It will seek support from Member States for a submission to MSC103 asking for a new agenda output to review the HSC Code’s minimum speed requirement.

Ferry Market Study

Interferry has engaged Oxford Economics in a study of the global ferry industry with the objective of determining our size and economic impact. The study will be conducted in phases, with the first phase consisting of a scoping exercise to determine if there is sufficient third-party data for Oxford Economics to fulfill the full scope of our desired study.

The first phase will also incorporate a confidential membership survey that asks for operators to supply data to Oxford Economics and Interferry so it can be used to assist in the extrapolation of global ferry market characteristics. Assuming a successful first phase of the project, the second phase will complete the work needed to define the size and economic impact of our industry, as well as our relative size compared to other industries, such as airlines and cruise ships. You will hear more about this study in the coming months.

2020 New Members

Please join me in welcoming 14 new members to our family in 2020. I’m always reinvigorated when companies have the foresight to see their marketing dollars as an investment in their future – especially during these challenging times.

• Ralph Alexson – Sweden
• Dr. Andrew Baglin – Australia
• Cummins, Inc. – USA
• Eligroup SRL – Italy
• EMCS Industries – Canada
• Mason Shipbrokers Ltd. – Great Britain
• Nextrasoft Limited – Great Britain
• NRMA Marine – Australia
• Philippines InterIsland Shipping Association – Philippines
• Pinnacle Marine Corporation – USA
• Pivotel America Ltd. – USA
• Specto Remote AS – Norway
• Starlight Italia SRL – Italy
• Sterling PBES Energy Solutions (SPBES) – Canada

As always, please consider our valuable members first when conducting your business.

New Interferry Chair and Director

At our virtual October AGM, on behalf of the membership, Directors voted Brittany Ferries CEO, Christophe Mathieu, as the new Chair of Interferry and Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram, CEO of Chao Phraya Express Boats in Thailand, as a new Director.

Directors also approved the 2nd term appointments of Directors Claes Berglund and Götz Becker; the 3rd term appointments of Directors Per Westling and Wilco van der Linden; and the annual appointment of the Officers of Interferry which includes Christophe Mathieu (President and Chairman), Tim Mooney (Vice-Chairman), Mark MacDonald (Treasurer) and me as Secretary.

We also recognized the resignations of Janette Bell and Merideth Tall who have left the ferry industry, and retirements of John Steen-Mikkelsen and Nils-Erik Eklund due to term limitations.

2021 Conference – Santander, Spain

Now that COVID-19 vaccinations are beginning to roll out in many parts of the world, the Interferry team is even more determined than ever to deliver our 2021 conference in person in Santander, Spain, which will be hosted by Brittany Ferries. We have already secured all venues, including the elegant Real Hotel and the Santander conference center.

We are encouraged to see the large number of sponsors who have already committed to the Santander conference and also by the number of inquiries we’ve recently received from potential sponsors. With the conference not commencing until October 2021, it’s entirely possible that we will approach, and possibly exceed, the level of sponsorship activity that we saw in London in 2019.

If you are thinking about sponsoring in Santander, I encourage you to contact us quickly as many of our packages have already sold out with others getting close.

Zoom Interview with Per Westling – Newbuild and Charter Market

This month I interviewed Per Westling, Managing Director at Stena RoRo and eight-year Interferry Director, about ferry operators’ most important assets after their employees – their ships. I asked him about the global newbuild and charter markets, as well as his observations on how ferry owners and shipyards are doing, and what they are planning for the future given a more optimistic, but still uncertain, 2021.

A special thanks to this month’s sponsors Wärtsilä and Inmarsat.

Per Westling, Managing Director, Stena RoRo, Sweden

You can view Per’s interview here in the Communications section.

A Message of Hope

As we close out 2020 – which I don’t think anyone will be disappointed about – I leave you with a message of hope for 2021. Hope that the vaccine rollout turns the tide on this global pandemic. Hope that advancements in rapid COVID-19 testing allows for more freedom to travel. Hope that the worst is behind you for your respective business, and most importantly, hope that you and your loved ones, like our grandchildren in the photo below, remain safe and you are able to enjoy this holiday season.

Take care and stay safe…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry

Greetings Ferry Friends,

I am writing this month’s report on Black Friday, usually the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. It was quickly gaining speed in Canada and other parts of the world as well. For obvious reasons this year, the rush to buy deeply discounted consumer goods at malls and big box stores has come to a screeching halt – with on-line shopping picking up the remnants of what remains.

From the ferry industry’s perspective, as people once again are forced to bunker down in response to a second wave of COVID-19, ferries continue to provide much needed essential goods and services to the communities we serve – while at the same time trying to navigate through mounting debt and, once again, dwindling passenger numbers.

In a media world that delivers a constant bombardment of doom and gloom, we finally have some uplifting news that the worst may soon be behind us. If what we read is true, there are now a handful of vaccines likely to be approved and soon to be available during the first quarter of 2021. With rapid testing trials also advancing quickly across the globe, we now have a legitimate chance to realize an economic recovery during the second half of 2021. Hopefully, this comes in time for next year’s summer travel season for the ferry world.

The news regarding vaccines and quick tests is providing some hope and excitement that we may all be able to get together, once again, at our annual global conference in Santander next October.

I’m drawn to the words of my father, who told me many times to “take care of things that you can control and don’t spend too much time worrying about the things you can’t”. For Interferry, this has meant spending most of our regulatory horsepower in November on the GHG file.

In addition to briefing you on our efforts and the outcomes at IMO’s MEPC 75, I want to draw your attention to the recent Zoom interview I did with Interferry’s new Chair, Christophe Mathieu, and tell you about our efforts to enhance our social media presence, as well as acknowledge and welcome our newest members to the Interferry family.

GHGs, MEPC 75 and the way forward…

We continue our laser sharp focus on what is within our control – and at the moment, that means ensuring that we provide the best representation possible for our members regarding the ongoing GHG deliberations at the IMO. The keel will hit the water in 2023 when new regulations begin coming into effect requiring the recertification of individual ships based on a new energy efficiency index. However, it doesn’t end there. Once ships get re-certified, owners will still have to commit to a plan of continuous improvement related to reduction in their GHGs and emissions under another regulatory regime called the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).

At the recently completed MEPC 75 session at the IMO – as expected – the energy efficiency design index for existing ships (EEXI) agreed to by participants at the intersessional meetings beforehand was approved and will be cast in stone at the next IMO MEPC 76 session in June. In the meantime, we still have considerable work to do in the next couple of months leading up next June’s session.

We still have an opportunity to tweak the outcome of EEXI calculations so as many ferries as possible meet the requirements of the new regulations. For us to do this, we need your Ro-Pax and Ro-Ro data ASAP! If you have not yet provided it to us, please do so immediately – doing this may save you a lot of pain and suffering, not to mentioned money, over the long run.

If you require more information, please click on this link to read our recent news release, watch my Zoom interview with Johan Roos, Interferry’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, and/or contact Johan directly at

Zoom Interview with Interferry Chair Christophe Mathieu

I invite you to watch my recent interview with Christophe Mathieu, our new Interferry Chair and CEO of Brittany Ferries. In addition to providing an overview of his decade-long involvement with our trade association as a Director and Chair of various committees, Christophe talks about his vision and aspirations for Interferry as we stickhandle through a global pandemic, the GHG file and strive to improve safety in the developing world.

Christophe Mathieu, Chairman and President, Interferry and CEO, Brittany Ferries, France

You can view Christophe’s interview here in the Communications section.

Interferry’s Expanding Social Media Presence

Prior to COVID-19, Interferry had been strengthening our presence in social media. With so much of our communication now going digital, we have moved to strengthen our presence even more. We now have an Interferry LinkedIn page, and recently, I created a personal profile on LinkedIn, which allows me to share information and write posts that LinkedIn doesn’t allow on its corporate sites.

We’ve also grown our followers on Twitter and are fortunate that many of our media partners retweet what we write so the information is shared to a much larger audience and not restricted to only the people that follow us directly. Our Instagram is just getting started and we could use some followers – especially from member company accounts – as we grow this newest social media presence.

We could also use our members help to grow our reach and influence by following us on our LinkedIn company page, my personal LinkedIn page, @InterferryOrg on Twitter and @interferryorg on Instagram and sharing our news with your own social media followers. This will help ensure that we continue to be the respected voice for the worldwide ferry industry.

Welcome to New Members

As a true to testament to the value and benefit of the Interferry organization, I’m extremely pleased to welcome these new members to our family during these challenging times. With a background in business development, I’m always reinvigorated when companies have the foresight to see their marketing dollars as an investment in their future.

Eligroup SRL – Italy
EMCS Industries – Canada
Specto Remote AS – Norway
Starlight Italia SRL – Italy

As always, please consider our valuable members first when conducting your business.

A Call Out to Non-Members

On a related membership note, since my monthly report is read by a number of individuals whose companies are in the ferry industry, but not members of Interferry, I would ask those readers to consider becoming members of our global trade association. The reality is that we represent your ferry-related interests, at the IMO and with other applicable regulatory bodies and governments – regardless of whether you are an Interferry member or not. A perfect example of this is the current deliberations at the IMO regarding GHGs.

Through the hard work of our regulatory office, the correction factor we have already negotiated to the EEXI formula for ferries, will save tens of dozens of ships from being tied up in 2023 – with more to be saved as we continue to tweak the formula over the coming months. It is not an understatement to say that the combined savings of this hard work will collectively save our sector billions of dollars.

As with any organization, we need resources to fight the good fight. So, if you’re not a member, please consider joining our family. After all, we truly are “Stronger Together”.

Until next time, stay safe and take care…
Mike Corrigan – CEO, Interferry