Feature, Freight News, Sea

Stena aims ever higher

[ January 30, 2017   //   ]

Stena Line has increased the height of the cargo deck of its Rosslare-Fishguard ferry Stena Europe to allow access for high top trailers, a key requirement of more and more freight customers operating between Britain and Ireland.

Trade director for the southern Irish Sea, Ian Davies, said that Stena had taken on board freight customer feedback in relation to higher trailers and took the refit opportunity to increase the height clearance of an area of the cargo deck to 4.65m.

He added: “The Stena Europe is now equipped to accommodate all trailer height variations which we are confident will help us continue to expand our freight business in 2017.”

The Stena Europe is also the first vessel in the operator Irish Sea fleet of seven ships to sport the leading ferry company’s new strapline.

It also had work carried out on bow thrusters, rudders and main shaft seals under the water line, with additional upgrades to the galley, bar and crew accommodation.

Meanwhile, on its Northern Irish routes, Stena Line posted a record year for freight volume through Belfast Harbour in 2016, carrying over 500,000 units for the first time in its history.

Stena Line operates three freight services from Belfast Harbour which provide up to 14 daily crossing options to and from Cairnryan, Liverpool (Birkenhead) and Heysham.

Trade Director for Irish Sea North, Paul Grant, commented: “Despite operating in a highly competitive market, 2016 was a record year for Stena Line’s Northern Ireland operations.  To carry over 500,000 freight units is a fantastic achievement for the entire Stena Line team and one which also cements Belfast Harbour’s position as Northern Ireland’s leading freight hub.”

He added: “Stena Line has invested heavily in its Belfast Harbour hub.  It’s reassuring to see that our vision and commitment to an expanding operation from Belfast Harbour has been rewarded.  Economic uncertainty is a concern for 2017, however, we remain focussed on providing our customers with the most frequent and reliable services into and out of Northern Ireland

Paul Grant concluded: “Whilst last year was a record year we cannot afford to be complacent, it’s vital that our investments in ships and ports is matched by infrastructure improvements to roads in Northern Ireland and Scotland particularly.”

Belfast Harbour commercial director, Joe O’Neill, added: “Belfast Harbour is Northern Ireland’s principal maritime gateway with more than 70% of NI’s seaborne trade.  This is supported by the record year Stena Line is reporting for 2016.”

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea,. In addition to services between Dublin to Holyhead it also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with three return crossings a week.

Leading ferry company Stena Line has posted a record year for freight traffic volumes on its Belfast Harbour routes to Cairnryan, Liverpool and Heysham in 2016. For the first time in its history, Stena Line has carried over 500, 000 freight units through Belfast Harbour. Pictured celebrating the success are (left to right): Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea North), Joe O’Neill, Commercial Director, Belfast Harbour and Anna Breen, Stena Line’s Freight Commercial Manager (Irish Sea North).

Left to right: Paul Grant, Stena Line’s trade director (Irish Sea North), Joe O’Neill, commercial director, Belfast Harbour and Anna Breen, Stena Line’s freight commercial manager (Irish Sea North).