Mersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseysideMersey Maritime - A driving force for the maritime industry on merseyside


By Annette Parker

Freight ferry company Seatruck is reporting growth of more than 18pc in 2016 consolidating its position as the fastest growing operator on the Irish Sea, as more hauliers switch to its services.

Seatruck chief executive Alistair Eagles said freight levels are also up 30pc in November 2016 compared to November last year. He further forecasts winning even more business from hauliers switching ferry operators, following the opening of the new £125 million Bay Gateway relief road on October 31. The road by-passes the previous bottle neck of Lancaster, slashing journey time from the M6 to the Port of Heysham, where Seatruck is headquartered.

“The new Bay Gateway relief road is a game changer,” he said. “It sends a massive message to the transport industry that the Port of Heysham is now a hugely more competitive alternative to more remote ports like Holyhead and Cairnryan. Hauliers no longer have to wrestle with congestion around Lancaster and the Heysham peninsula. It is our firm belief that Seatruck will see more and more hauliers switching to take advantage of our freight only, driver free trailer  model. We are seeing a real demand for this and believe that this is the future of Irish Sea freight – freeing up drivers and their time. We have listened to hauliers and the problems they are facing with a chronic shortage of HGV drivers. It makes increasing sense for hauliers to ship trailer only. Our operation offers hauliers the option of drivers dropping off their truck and then instead of being stuck on the ferry, going on to another job.”

Mr Eagles said Seatruck’s Irish Sea tonnage growth this year is around three times the market level. The new growth figures are the latest chapter in Seatruck’s success story. In the past decade Seatruck has grown its market share by more than 350 per cent. In October, in response to the opening of Bay Gateway, Seatruck added a larger vessel to its Heysham- Dublin route almost doubling capacity. The 105 units Clipper Point joined her two sister vessels Clipper Pennant and Seatruck Panorama which already operate between Heysham and Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland. At the same time Seatruck added a fourth vessel to its busy Liverpool – Dublin service.

Mr Eagles made a direct appeal to hauliers transiting through Scotland to think again about how they access Northern Ireland.

“A large percentage of haulage traffic transiting to Northern Island drives past the Bay Gateway on its way to Scotland on a journey from the North of England and the Midlands that can take more than three hours from Heysham alone,” he said. “It really is much easier to use the Bay Gateway which takes you straight into Heysham, slashing fuel costs and mileage, saving on truck wear and tear as well as reducing the vehicle’s carbon footprint. We believe this message will increasingly resonate with hauliers and their customers at a time when they are being urged to be as efficient, cost-effective and eco-friendly as possible.”

The owner of Heysham Port, Peel Ports has also recently announced a further £10m investment in the facilities at Heysham including a new loading ramp which will be installed in 2017. This will further strengthen Heysham’s position as a leading hub for Irish Sea freight. Further improvements in IT systems will make the process of delivering and collecting units from Heysham Port much easier for HGV drivers.

Seatruck, which has been operating as a ferry specialist for 20 years, now offers 12 crossings a week between Heysham and Dublin and 22 crossings a week between Heysham and Warrenpoint.

The company’s modern fleet of roll-on roll-off ferries operates 38 sailings per week between Liverpool and Dublin as well as a weekly service between Dublin and Bristol.

For further details contact the Seatruck team Tel: + 44 (0) 1524 853 512 visit:

About A.Parker
MERSEY MARITIME Mersey Maritime is the representative body for the Maritime Sector and related industry sectors operating across the UK's Liverpool City Region, bringing together over 1250 businesses whose activities contribute some £3.47bn - or 13% - to the region's GDP. The cluster is the broadest and largest outside of London, reflecting Liverpool's long history as a maritime mercantile city. As a city region that has maritime embedded in its DNA, Mersey Maritime is working in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University to address an agenda centred on skills, innovation, R&D and business support that will help facilitate further growth and job creation. The organisation is co-located with LJMU at the Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead, Wirral (UK).


Mersey Maritime is one of Europe’s most successful maritime cluster organisations, representing the interests of over 1700 Maritime, Logistics and Energy businesses on Merseyside and beyond.

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