Alistair Eagles, CEO at Seatruck Ferries, updates us on growing trade activity across the Irish Sea thanks to major infrastructure investments at the Port of Liverpool and beyond, and explains the wider benefits this has brought to the entire supply chain.
Seatruck Ferries is the fastest growing ferry operator on the Irish Sea with 19% growth in 2016 compared with market growth of 6%. Indeed our Liverpool - Dublin route saw the fastest freight growth of any Irish Sea ferry service in 2016 with a 29% increase in trade.
The Seatruck routes from Heysham Port serving Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland and Dublin are also growing as they benefit from the rapid road connection now available since the opening of the Heysham M6 Link from Junction 34 of the M6 directly to the Port.
As logistics operators continue to look for ways to save costs they are placing ever greater importance on the most efficient use of their expensive equipment given the dwindling supply of HGV drivers.
Seatruck is a freight only operator that specialises in unaccompanied trailer shipments. By shipping the trailer only, the key assets of a logistics company, tractor units and drivers are not trapped on-board ferries but instead free to continue their work on the road networks of the UK and Ireland.
We specifically chose the Port of Liverpool and Heysham for the majority of our operations as these ports significantly reduce road mileage. Liverpool and Heysham are closer the origin and destination of most goods compared with the traditional transit through Scotland to Northern Ireland or North Wales to Ireland.
Liverpool and Heysham ro-ro volumes are growing strongly but still have great potential to allow more operators to unlock the value in their operations by using the Peel Irish Sea Hub.
As part of this continued investment Seatruck will switch later in 2017 to a brand new ro-ro berth in Heysham as part of a £12m investment by owners Peel Ports. The new berth will provide even greater opportunity for logistics operators to switch to the Seatruck unaccompanied freight only model and realise the full potential of the Irish Sea supply chain.
With the entire supply chain constantly looking for efficient ways of moving goods within, between and beyond the British Isles, the current health of the Irish Sea hub offers a highly sustainable and efficient solution. With committed investment and a partnership approach, the future is bright for the continued success of Irish Sea trade.
For more information on Seatruck click here.
For more information on RoRo services from Peel Ports click here.
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