Geest Ireland and Norfolkline Containers Launch New Service

Monday, July 21, 2003
In mid August, Geest Ireland and Norfolkline Containers will launch a new weekly service linking Rotterdam and Dublin. This is a direct continuation of the two companies' co-operation that began in October 2000 with the launch of a joint service between Rotterdam and Drogheda, 45km north of Dublin. Currently Geest and Norfolkline provide three sailings a week between Rotterdam and Drogheda but such has been the success of this partnership that there is now an urgent requirement to deploy larger ships on the Irish trade. The port of Drogheda is unable to accommodate ships in excess of 450 TEU. As part of their vessel sharing agreement, Geest Ireland and Norfolkline have chartered the 643 TEU Maersk Westland for the new Dublin link and she replaces the 262TEU Triton Loga that had been operating on the Drogheda service She will make her first sailing from Rotterdam on 15 August. Triton Loga will be employed on the Norfolkline Rotterdam - Waterford route as from 14 August. Norfolkline's Container Division Director Fred Steeneken explains that Maersk Westland's speed and size will enable the lines to provide a perfect service: "We will be offering alongside our Waterford service a Friday departure from Rotterdam with a Sunday afternoon arrival in Dublin. Both routes will provide a reliable Friday (pm) collection - Monday (am) delivery service and each provides a contingency option for the other service. Maersk Westland will leave Dublin on Tuesdays for arrival in Rotterdam on Thursday, so deliveries can still take place the same week. "Maersk Westland is extremely suitable for the range of containers we carry - 45ft palletwides, 30ft bulk and heavy 20ft tanks - and is much larger than the 262TEU ship we are taking out of Drogheda." Sadly, Drogheda has been a victim of its own success, explains Geest Ireland Director Trevor Dumbleton: "Since we launched our Rotterdam - Drogheda service in October 2000, it has gone from strength to strength. However, we need larger ships like Maersk Westland and they are simply way too big for Drogheda. We would however like to express our thanks to the port management and stevedore for the help and encouragement they have given us over the past three years and are still giving us with regard to the two remaining sailings at Drogheda." In Dublin, Geest and Norfolkline have signed a contract with Dublin Ferryport Terminals (DFT) for the handling of its service.
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