Competition for passenger ferry business is hotting up on the Dover routes with the automation of trade online bookings by Norfolkline.
Chris Newey, Norfolkline’s Passenger Marketing Manager described the move. ‘Due to significant demand from our strategic partners in late 2004, we decided to offer Unicorn trade bookings for tour operators, online agents and intermediaries. The key was to be ready for the current season booking period when 2005 takes off. We need to compete for trade business and this is a vital booking channel’
Norfolkline currently operate 20 daily ferry crossings and in 2005/6 are introducing 3 new state of the art ferries designed specifically for the route, focussed entirely on the motorist. They are part of the AP Moller Maersk Group, the largest shipping company in the world and in 2004 we were voted ‘Best European Crossing Operator’ by readers of the Daily & Sunday Telegraph and the ‘Leading Cross Channel Operator’ by the Guardian & Observer.
Choosing Pharos as their partner and our Xchange Service for booking facilities was an important decision which proved to be a great success. Although the project only began in October, we made their Unicorn link live ahead of schedule before Christmas, resulting in many bookings in double quick time before the New Year. Lloyd Middleton, Norfolkline’s Corporate E-commerce Manger hailed our service a great success and extremely satisfactory. The project is also a world first – the very first TTI XML ferries message standard implementation !