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Displaying items by tag: Clipper Point

#FERRY NEWS -Seatruck Ferries newbuild freight-only ferry, Seatruck Progress carried out berthing trials in Dublin Port yesterday in preparation to her debut on the Liverpool route over the festive period, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This was the inaugural call to the capital, though she had sailed across Dublin Bay earlier this month (as previously reported - click HERE) during her delivery voyage to Liverpool from German shipbuilders FGS Flensburger.

At 142 metres long and with a beam of 24 metres, the four decked ro-ro vessel, offers more capacity to the routes existing pair of 'Point' class vessels, as she can handle an extra 35 trailer units (each of 13.5m) than the Clipper Point and Clipper Pennant.

In February, the newcomer's second sister out of four on order, Seatruck Power is set to join her on the central corridor route.

Seatruck are the only Irish Sea operator dedicated to the carriage of un-accompanied freight traffic, though the vessels can cater for driver accompanied units with a limited number of cabins.

Published in Ferry

Seatruck Ferries is to re-open the Dublin-Heysham route following the closure by DFDS Seaways of the freight-only service last month, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The first sailing of the revived route is scheduled to depart Heysham next Monday at 02.00hrs and the corresponding departure from Dublin is at 14.00hrs. Seatruck have yet to release the identity of the one-ship operated service, previously run by DFDS Anglia Seaways.

Seatruck decided to re-open the route based on strong demand and of the firm commitment to support the service from several road haulage firms.

To facilitate the additional business of the new route, Seatruck's existing use of Terminal 3 for its Dublin-Liverpool service will no longer be required. Instead all operations will be centred at Terminal 5, previously used by DFDS Seaways for their freight and passenger ferry vessels on the Heysham and Liverpool (Birkenhead) routes.

The company which is part of the Bahamas based Clipper Group Ltd (which controls 250 vessels) also operate between Warrenpoint-Heysham and Larne-Heysham. Seatruck operate an eight–strong Irish Sea fleet, which include four new vessels that were built in Spain and introduced onto two of their routes since 2008.

Lead-ship of the four 120-trailer capacity vessels, Clipper Point was followed by Clipper Panorama on the Warrenpoint route. The Clipper Pace and the final unit of the quartet, Clipper Pennant, serve on the Liverpool route. The new Dublin-Heysham route will increase the total number of all Seatruck route sailings to 80 each week.

Published in Ferry

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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