CHFS tender process reaches ITT stage

Two operators have been invited to take part in the next stage of the tender for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (CHFS) contract, Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay has announced.

CalMac Ferries Limited and Serco Caledonian Ferries Limited have both passed the pre-qualification stage of the process and will be invited to submit tenders for the next CHFS contract, which will run from 1st October 2016 for a duration of up to eight years.

Both operators will, today, be given access to copies of the draft Invitation To Tender (ITT) documentation, which will then formally be issued to them on the 10th July 2015.

The invitation for both operators to submit a final tender is scheduled for December 2015, with a view to awarding the contract in May 2016.

Mr Mackay said:

“This is another significant step forward for the tender process and moves us closer to awarding the next Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services contract.

“The award of this contract will be an incredibly important moment for the island communities served by these lifeline ferry services. The Scottish Government will provide up to £1bn of funding to support the enhancement and development of these services, in addition to fares revenue. It will also ensure that Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) continues to be applied on CHFS routes, bringing significantly reduced fares for passengers, cars, small commercial vehicles and coaches and helping to support local communities and the tourist industry.

“These ferry services play a crucial role in enabling continued and sustainable economic growth for the Islands. We are committed to delivering the very best deal for all of the communities of the Clyde and Hebrides.”

Notes to editors

CalMac Ferries Limited and Serco Caledonian Ferries Limited have pre-qualified and will be invited to submit tenders for ferry services and harbour operating services for harbours owned by CMAL for the provision of the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services from 1 October 2016.

The two bidders will have access to the data room and draft ITT from 10 June to allow them to plan their approach to the competition before they receive the Initial ITT on 10 July 2015.

There will be no unbundling of ferry services in the next CHFS contract. The tender is being taken forward as a single contract.


Announcement of selection of and engagement with Participants, including making draft copy of initial ITT available for reference


Formal issue of the initial ITT documents


Procedure for the Ferry services (the Contract)

Submission of initial Tender

August 2015

consideration, discussion and negotiation, and call for further tenders

To October 2015

Period allowed for further round

Variable, according to requirements, and which may affect (bring forward) subsequent indicated dates

Issue of Invitation to Submit Final Tender

December 2015

Submission of final tenders

January 2016

Procedure for the Harbour operating services (the Agreement)

Submission of Tender

As date of submission of final tender for Ferry services subject to the provision of 6 weeks’ notice if that date is brought forward

Anticipated award of the Contract and Agreement

May 2016

Proposed start of Public Service Operations


Published 10 Jun 2015