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Stena Line has secured a freight only ro-ro vessel, Bore Song, to operate on its Dublin-Liverpool (Birkenhead) route with the ship boosting freight capacity on the Irish Sea route by 30%.

The Swedish operator of the Dublin-Liverpool dedicated freight service has been operational since 15th February with the ropax Stena Horizon serving customers temporarily, whilst the company searched for a longer-term solution.

Bore Song is now scheduled to undergo modifications and is expected to enter service in mid-April.

With capacity for almost 3,000 lane metres of freight, the Bore Song will provide significantly more space and is well suited for this unaccompanied freight route. Once the ship is operational, Stena line will be able to restore normal capacity and operations on its Rosslare-Fishguard and Rosslare- Cherbourg routes.

With the future of the route front of mind, the company is also investing further in its port operations at Birkenhead to better serve freight customers. Stena Line recently broke ground on a project to significantly increase parking for freight vehicles with plans for 200 additional

This follows the announcement last year that the ferry operator had signed an agreement with Peel Ports to operate at the terminal in Birkenhead until the year 2100.

Paul Grant, Trade Director Irish Sea, Stena Line said, “Since we announced our plans to launch our Dublin-Liverpool service in December, we have been searching for a long-term freight only ship solution, and we’re delighted to have secured the Bore Song to serve on the route until at least the end of the year.

“The extra capacity offered by Bore Song will be welcomed by the market. The service has had a strong start and we anticipate further growth in the coming months. Coupled with the expansion of our port operations in Birkenhead and our long-term agreement with Peel
Ports, we’re investing significantly in the future of our seventh service across the Irish Sea.”

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, with the biggest fleet providing up to 248 weekly sailings on routes including combined passenger and freight services from Belfast to Cairnryan; Belfast to Liverpool; Dublin to Holyhead; Rosslare to Fishguard and Rosslare to Cherbourg.

The company also runs a dedicated freight only route from Belfast to Heysham, in addition to the new Dublin – Liverpool service.

Published in Stena Line

A newly introduced freight-ferry for Stena Line’s Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) route involved a ro-ro vessel make a maiden overnight crossing on the Irish Sea, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 2,500 freight-lane metres capacity Stena Forwarder arrived in Belfast on 3 November and became the third vessel on the England-Northern Ireland route where passenger E-Flexer twins Stena Edda and Stena Embla have operated since 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Freight operations at Belfast use the Victoria Terminal (VT4) whereas passenger services are based at Victoria Terminal (VT2) but all vessels berth at the Twelve Quays terminal, Birkenhead, with up to tree departures daily and around 7 hours crossing time.

Only last month Stena Forwarder joined the Stena Ro Ro fleet and has been chartered to Stena Line’s Irish Sea operations on the Birkenhead-Belfast route. Formerly the Frijsenborg, as the 21,666 gross tonnage vessel had called to Belfast was renamed prior to entering service.

The Danish flagged vessel directly replaced Stena Foreteller which had been operating on the route’s shoulder service when engaged in un-accompanied freight on the Mersey-Lagan link. A sister, Stena Carrier given its size, made for quite an impression when as Afloat reported it call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour to undergo a survey in 2018.

Frijsenborg was built in 2016 at the Visentini shipyard in Italy from where the same shipbuilder launched a ropax also named Stena Forwarder which during the early 2000’s served on the Dublin-Holyhead route.

Stena Line operate other freight-only vessels on the Irish Sea, the twins Stena Hibernia and Stena Scotia on the Belfast-Heysham route, however the pair are to be replaced by the custom-built Stena NewMax methanol-fuelled ro-ro ferries due to enter service in 2025.

Published in Stena Line