Leading ferry company Stena Line has recorded strong volumes on its Belfast services for the first six months of 2017. To the end of June 2017, freight volumes increased +5%, passengers and cars grew +4% year on year. The fastest growing sector was coaches recording a record +19% increase.
Stena Line operates three services from Belfast Harbour which provide up to 14 daily crossings options between its Cairnryan, Liverpool (Birkenhead) and Heysham services.
Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director (Irish Sea North) commented:
“Despite operating in a highly competitive environment, we have delivered a very strong set of volume increases across all of our three Belfast services. Despite intense competition, our freight volumes have increased with demand particularly high on our Belfast-Liverpool service. The rise in coach volumes has been assisted significantly by the increasing demand for day visits and from Chinese tour parties.”
Paul Grant added: “Stena Line continues to invested heavily in its Belfast hub. Earlier this month, our parent company made a significant capital investment in acquiring the Superfast VII and VIII vessels which currently operate on our Belfast-Cairnryan service under charter agreement. We will take full ownership of the vessels in December which will be another important milestone in the future development of our Belfast business hub. We are hopeful that the second half of 2017 will deliver another positive set of results and call on local politicians to get our Executive up and running to help face up to Brexit challenges and assist in delivering key infrastructure projects such as the York St Interchange and working with their Scottish counterparts on A75 road upgrades to improve infrastructure connections to key markets.”
Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes between Britain to Ireland including Belfast to Liverpool and Heysham, Belfast to Cairnryan, Dublin to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard routes, a total of 228 weekly sailing options between Britain and Ireland. Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with three return crossings a week.
Title image: Stena Lagan passes Stena Superfast VII at the start of another crossing to Birkenhead. Copyright © Scott Mackey.