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Larger Third Vessel Added to Seatruck’s Dublin-Liverpool Route

7th March 2016
A larger third vessel, Seatruck Pace is to be added to Dublin-Liverpool route today A larger third vessel, Seatruck Pace is to be added to Dublin-Liverpool route today Photo: Seatruck

#LargerVessel – A larger third Seatruck Ferries ro-ro vessel will be added to the Dublin-Liverpool route today.

The current vessel, Clipper Ranger will be replaced by the larger and faster P series vessel, Seatruck Pace which will almost double the freight capacity with space for 110 trailers per sailing.

As reported on Afloat, Clipper Ranger was only added in mid-November 2015 but has already attracted significant flows of new traffic since its introduction.

The deployment of Seatruck Pace, a proven P series vessel as the third vessel to run alongside a pair of larger FSG vessels will ensure Seatruck offer three sailings daily in each direction to cope with continued growth on the central Irish Sea route.

The vessel switch is in direct response to demand and feedback from Seatruck customers and this has led to that tailored sailings schedule to reflect changing needs of the Irish market. Crucially it will add further capacity during the busy midweek period.

The 1,830 lane metre capacity Seatruck Pace will bring speed, schedule reliability, free height and even faster turnaround times in port. Drivers will now have single berth en-suite cabins and comfortable lounge area. In addition the ship benefits from a ramp interface to the lower hold in place of a lift.

Driver shortages are causing operators to reassess their traditional accompanied method. Seatruck Ferries believes in a switch to greater volumes of unaccompanied movements from ports, which reduces road mileage compared with the transit through Wales or Scotland.

As economic conditions improve, this addition is the next stage in Seatruck Ferries’ strategic development plan and complements the operators existing Warrenpoint-Heysham and Dublin-Heysham services.

Published in Ferry
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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