Monday, October 3, 2016

RoRo Freight Only Ferry Group Increases Capacity on Two Routes

Major Road Infrastructure Upgrade Prompts Changes
Shipping News Feature
UK – IRELAND – Seatruck Ferries, the freight only RoRo ferry operator, has added significantly to its carrying capabilities with the recent amendments to its services. Seatruck, a subsidiary of the Danish based Clipper Group, has added a fourth vessel to its expanding Liverpool – Dublin service whilst introducing a larger vessel on the Heysham – Dublin daily service in anticipation of the opening of the M6 link, on October 31, which will connect junction 34 of the M6 directly to the Port of Heysham, completely bypassing the current bottleneck in Lancaster.

The Clipper Ranger will commence operations from Liverpool on the week beginning 10 October, enhancing the busy midweek period with 4 departures each way per day. Seatruck claims that this Dublin route is the fastest growing freight service on the Irish Sea and the extra vessel will further improve the service offering on this key connection. The Seatruck unaccompanied service is a longer route but the company says this is proving attractive to many of the traditional short sea, driver accompanied operators which are now looking to switch volumes to unaccompanied vehicles.

The Heysham – Dublin service adjustment sees the larger, 105 trailer Clipper Point replace the smaller Clipper Ranger offering additional benefits including greater trailer free height and a faster turnaround time in port. The ship also benefits from a ramp interface to the lower hold instead of a lift. Drivers will particularly appreciate the single berth cabins and the comfortable lounge area. The larger more powerful P series vessel will join her two sister vessels which already trade from Heysham on the Seatruck route connecting Heysham with Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland.

The purpose built vessel Clipper Point is no stranger to Heysham or the Irish Sea but in recent times has been on charter to other ferry operators throughout Europe. Seatruck, which currently operates three routes on the Irish Sea offering daily connections, believes the deployment of the larger vessel will attract more traffic to the route. Commenting on the changes Seatruck CEO Alistair Eagles commented:

”Our growth this year on the Liverpool Dublin route has been strong but we are not resting on our laurels or sitting back. We have a firm belief in our business model, a strong team and the right infrastructure in place to take this next step. With 4 sailings each way per day Seatruck will offer an unrivalled, freight only, frequency between Liverpool and Dublin, allowing more operators to switch away from the traditional driver accompanied transit through Wales or Scotland.

”We have been planning for the opening of the M6 Link road for some time and it is absolutely no coincidence that we have chosen to upgrade our service offering from Heysham at this time. The Clipper Point was purpose built for Heysham by Seatruck in 2008 and we look forward to welcoming her home to help with our continued growth in the Port of Heysham. Twenty years after the first Seatruck sailing we are just as hungry for growth, having just as much fun, and still firmly believe that our business model is the correct one. This is just the next step in the Seatruck story.”

Photo: Clipper Point under way.