Providing support to a ferry operator bidding for a major contract
The CalMac ferry network provides lifeline ferry connections to 29 islands off Scotland’s west coast. These services are provided through a Scottish Government operating contract which is put out to tender periodically. Drawing on our knowledge of the network gained through over 10 years of undertaking Scottish ferries studies, we provided support to a bidder for this eight-year contract, beginning in 2016.
We developed a range of spreadsheet-based analytical tools using an extensive dataset of all sailings over a 10-year period to provide operational analysis and demand and revenue forecasts. The latter was constrained by carrying capacity and informed by granular statistical analysis of demand trends for passenger, car and commercial vehicle traffic. To support the bid, route profiles were produced setting out trends with respect to supply and demand, capacity utilisation, and punctuality and reliability. A profile was also developed for each island to understand the key drivers of demand, in terms of both island residents and tourist visitors.
Our analytical tools were used to inform the bid forecasts, and the highly visual outputs of our analysis formed a key part of the overall bid narrative in the bidder’s tender.
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