Weekend departure Dublin to Cherbourg will test post-Brexit demand.
Stena Line, Europe’s largest ferry company, has today announced that they will boost freight capacity between Ireland to France next Saturday (23rd Jan 2021). For the first time ever their vessel, the Stena Estrid, will depart Dublin for a round trip to Cherbourg in France.
Due to ongoing issues relating to the new post-Brexit customs requirements, freight traffic on Stena Line’s services to Holyhead are down approximately 60% in the first two weeks of 2021. This new service will be weekends only whilst customers adjust to the new post-Brexit rules, which the company believes have temporarily changed the flow of freight on the Irish Sea. This will result in a temporary reduction of weekend capacity in Dublin – Holyhead services, which will continue to be served by the ferry Stena Adventurer.
Paul Grant, Trade Director, Irish Sea said:
“Brexit has led to a large upheaval in trade flows across the Irish Sea, with demand for freight increasing on the routes direct to France, as well as from Belfast to Britain. The knock-on effect has led to a large reduction in freight flows across our central routes, between the Republic of Ireland and Wales. While this reduction is of a great concern to us, we believe freight levels on those routes will return. But in the meantime we need to be flexible and respond to the demands of our customers, who wish to use a direct route to France.
“Customers in Ireland, who would normally use the Dublin – Holyhead route, have indicated to us that they would like an additional service from Dublin to France, which we are now able to provide due to the more agile set up of our Irish Sea fleet. However, we are also working with our customers to assist them in addressing the issues they are facing when trying to navigate the new customs procedures, for moving goods between Britain and the Republic” added Grant.
The Stena Estrid is one of Stena Line’s new larger E-Flexer vessels, which has a 3,100 lane metre capacity and 175 cabins. It will follow its sister ship to France, Stena Embla, which the company recently announced would temporarily assist direct traffic between Rosslare and Cherbourg. The Stena Estrid will depart Dublin Port at 15:00 on Saturday 23rd January, arriving in Cherbourg at 11:00 on Sunday 24th January. It will then depart at 15:00 that day, arriving back in Dublin at 11:00 on Monday 26th January. It will then spend the remainder of the week back on the Dublin to Holyhead route before returning to the new French route the following weekend