For the first 6 months of 2016, Seatruck Ferries, the Clipper-owned ro-ro operator on the Irish Sea, recorded a freight growth rate of just over 18%, compared with the market level of 5.8%.
Seatruck currently offers 3 services on the Irish Sea with 64 departures per week. The Liverpool-Dublin route, where a larger 3rd freight vessel was added in March, registered the strongest growth of the company’s routes. The Heysham-Warrenpoint service also saw year on year progression.
Seatruck CEO Alistair Eagles commented, “We have been able to react quickly to growing demand and are very well placed to further consolidate our position as the fastest growing operator on the Irish Sea. We firmly believe that more and more traffic will continue to switch to our freight only, unaccompanied model from ports which reduce road mileage for operators.”
He added, “At a time of UK driver shortages it makes increasing sense for many operators to ship trailer only and maximize drivers working time with multiple short trips to the ports of Heysham and Liverpool, rather than the traditional and much longer driver accompanied transit through Wales or Scotland.
“The completion of the M6 link road in October will fundamentally and dramatically change the access to Heysham Port from the M6. We already have plans in place to maximize the opportunity that this £130m road infrastructure investment will create.”