Dublin Port Company (DPC) has today announced the outcome of the selection process that will see Terminal 5 in Dublin Port licensed to Stena Line and Seatruck Ferries. Stena Line will operate a new Dublin-Birkenhead (Liverpool) service while Seatruck Ferries and parent company CLDN will further develop their Dublin-UK services as part of this new shared freight terminal agreement.
In September 2023 DPC called for proposals from interested ferry lines to service west coast English or Welsh ports (excluding Dublin-Holyhead) out of Dublin following confirmation that P&O (which operated from Terminal 5 in Dublin Port) would exit the Dublin-Liverpool route by year end.
Stena Line’s new freight service between Dublin and Birkenhead (Liverpool) commences mid-February 2024, while Seatruck Ferries will move its Dublin-Heysham freight service within Dublin Port to Terminal 5 in January 2024.
DPC’s decision to award a shared licence to both Stena Line and Seatruck Ferries at Terminal 5 maximises the port’s existing infrastructure by pushing more truck and container freight through the terminal’s footprint. The move further supports DPC’s objective of adding capacity where possible, given the ongoing constraints on port lands, with Dublin Port already running close to capacity.
Barry O’Connell, CEO, Dublin Port Company, said: “It’s essential for Ireland’s economy that we have strong availability and competition on direct shipping routes between Dublin Port and the UK. We are pleased to welcome Stena Line’s new Dublin-Birkenhead route which brings choice to the market, and to continue working with Seatruck Ferries and CLDN on growing its Dublin-Heysham service.”
Stena Line’s new freight service
Stena Line’s new freight service will initially operate with one ship departing Dublin early in the morning and making the return journey from Birkenhead in the evening.
Stena Line already operates from Dublin Port to Holyhead and from Birkenhead to Belfast, and this new service will complement these existing routes. The company is currently assessing ship deployment options ahead of the mid-February start date in Dublin.
Paul Grant, Trade Director (Irish Sea), Stena Line, said: “We are very excited to re-establish this vital trade corridor with our new freight route between Dublin and Birkenhead which will further increase crossing options for our hauliers and their customers. With Stena Line now operating two routes out of both Dublin Port and Birkenhead, we are establishing key logistics hubs connecting freight flows across the Irish Sea and creating efficiencies for port users. We have invested significantly in our Birkenhead operations in recent years and as a result have seen growth on our Belfast to Liverpool service. We are confident that this new service will prove popular, offering more choice for our freight customers on both sides of the Irish Sea.”
Seatruck’s growing freight business
Seatruck Ferries and CLdN have been steadily expanding services into and out of Dublin in recent years. CLdN currently operates direct services from Rotterdam, Zeebrugge and Santander, while Seatruck Ferries operates the Heysham and Liverpool routes. As a result of the licence, Seatruck Ferries will move its Dublin-Heysham service to Terminal 5 in early 2024. All other CLdN services, including the Seatruck Ferries services to and from Liverpool, will continue to operate from Terminal 4. CLdN will also add a vessel to the Dublin-Liverpool route providing extra sailings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, bringing the total number of daily departures from three to four in each direction.
Alistair Eagles, Managing Director Seatruck Ferries, said: “We very much welcome this decision by Dublin Port. CLdN and Seatruck’s unaccompanied freight business on the Irish Sea has been growing steadily over recent years and more than 70% of all Irish Sea ferry freight now moves on an unaccompanied basis. The use of both Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 will enable us not only to further increase capacity but also to optimise the efficiency of our operations at the port. We look forward to growing our links with DPC as a stable and reliable partner and to further expanding our offer to customers.”