2016 is proving to be a real milestone year for our customer Seatruck Ferries. It is 20 years since the company began operations on the Irish Sea. Introducing a larger vessel on the Dublin-Liverpool route just in March this year. And now Seatruck has made two other major announcements about its services this week.
The first is that it’s adding a fourth vessel to the Liverpool-Dublin freight service to support demand growth. The Clipper Ranger will begin operations next week, enhancing the busy midweek period with four departures each way per day.
Meanwhile, the Clipper Ranger will be replaced with the Clipper Point, adding extra capacity on its Heysham-Dublin daily service. Also beginning next week, the change will add annual capacity of over 25,000 extra spaces.
The service upgrade for the Heysham-Dublin service comes at a key point in the history of Heysham Port, with the opening of the M6 link on October 31, which will connect junction 34 of the M6 directly to the Port, completely bypassing the current bottleneck in Lancaster.
The Seatruck Liverpool-Dublin route is the fastest growing freight service on the Irish Sea and the company overall is experiencing growth at roughly three times the market level. A lot of this is coming from traditional short-sea, driver-accompanied operators who are now looking to switch volume to the unaccompanied, long-sea model.
We’re always delighted to see any of our customers thriving, but it’s especially positive when we can see such a strong link with our own operation. Like Seatruck, we see immense potential for the UK and Irish economies to benefit from greater use of the Irish Sea as a key cargo route.
Our ultimate customers, the shippers, are all looking for more efficient ways of moving their goods within, between and beyond the British Isles. The Irish Sea ‘hub’ offers precisely that and the future looks very bright for those with existing strengths in the area.
Author: David Huck, Port Director
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