Stena Line has announced that it will be reducing freight capacity on its Belfast – Liverpool (Birkenhead) service due to a decline in freight demand as a consequence of the Coronavirus crisis. The freight only vessel Stena Forecaster will be removed from service resulting in a reduction of 10 trips per week.
Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director said: “Since the start of the Coronavirus crisis we have been closely monitoring the market and adapting our capacities to meet the prevailing demand.”
On March 9th, Stena Line launched its largest ship ever on the Belfast – Liverpool route, the brand-new Stena Edda. Stena Edda replaced the smaller Stena Lagan and at the time increased capacity for both freight and travel customers. In early 2021, Stena Line will replace Stena Mersey with a further new ship, Stena Embla. These two new RoPax ferries will increase freight capacity by almost 30% and will double passenger capacity compared with the vessels they replace.
Paul Grant added: “From 2021, a combination of the two largest ships ever to sail between Belfast and Liverpool, Stena Edda and Stena Embla will help us to grow our freight and travel business. Stena Edda and Stena Embla will raise onboard facilities to a whole new level, with 175 cabins including six suites plus enhanced freight facilities and faster loading and disembarkation processes. Despite all of the current difficulties Stena Line remains confident about the future and are well placed to respond to customer and market demands.”