Little did we know when we started our business with a single ship from Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland to Heysham carrying just 70 units of freight in the first week, 20 years later we would be the fastest growing ferry company on the Irish Sea.
That same route is still in operation today – although it has expanded somewhat. We now have 12 vessels with six operating on the Irish Sea, undertaking more than 60 departures and handling around 7,000 freight units per week.
We have invested 400million euro in 12 vessels, including eight new builds, to add to our fleet and we transport around 325,000 units of freight a year. Now, rather than being the owners of the oldest ship on the Irish Sea, we have the youngest fleet in operation today.
The secret to our success lies in the simplicity of our business model as the only dedicated freight only ferry company on the Irish Sea, concentrating on the unaccompanied trailer sector from ports which reduce road mileage for operators.
Seatruck operate three routes from two Peel Ports’ locations. Heysham to Warrenpoint which commenced in 1996, Liverpool to Dublin which commenced in 2007 and finally Heysham to Dublin our newest route which commenced in 2011.
Across these four locations we are able to offer customers cost effective solutions which cut out the need to undertake lengthy transit through Scotland or Wales. By selecting ports which are closer to the origin and destination of goods, we help reduce transit times, reduce road miles and drive efficiencies for our customers.
Demand from new customers looking to take advantage of these efficiencies is on the up, and as a company we are growing faster than the market rate. The forecast for Ireland’s trade economy is positive, which will help drive further demand for Irish Sea freight in the next few years.
Driver shortages, particularly in the UK are also resulting in more operators looking to use Heysham and Liverpool, thanks to the efficiency of our unaccompanied trailer model.
Continuing to look ahead there are lots of exciting opportunities to expand our Irish Sea offering even further. The imminent launch of Peel Ports Liverpool2 deep water container terminal will attract some of the world’s biggest global shipping lines and vessels. It will be a real driver of growth for the Irish Sea market, which can only have positive ramifications for businesses like us.
Closer to home in Heysham, the new M6 link is due for completion in October 2016, and will transform port access from J34 to the M6. Port traffic will be able to access the motorway without the need to transit Lancaster – reducing transport costs further for our customers - making Heysham an even more attractive entry port option for freight operators.
Seatruck Ferries has come a long way in the last 20 years, remaining close to our core customers offering the highest standard of service to the transport industry. Thanks to everyone who has helped us on our journey and here’s to 20 more years on the Irish Sea.
By Alistair Eagles,
CEO Seatruck Ferries
Back to News & Media