NorseMerchant Ferries Boosts Freight Capacity

Monday, September 13, 2004
NorseMerchant Ferries has responded to market demand for increased trailer capacity between North-West England and the Republic of Ireland by adding a third vessel to its Birkenhead - Dublin service. With a capacity of approximately 70 trailers, the newly-chartered Leili will provide over 400 additional spaces per week in each direction on this route when she enters service in October.

A sister vessel to NorseMerchant's Varbola, currently operating on the Heysham - Belfast route, Leili can also carry 12 driver accompanied units.

Sailing from Birkenhead at 03.00hrs, Leili will arrive in Dublin at 11.00hrs, enabling same day delivery. The return sailing from Dublin at 15.00hrs will arrive in Birkenhead at 23.00hrs, allowing next day deliveries throughout the UK.

This additional freight sailing complements the existing twice-daily sailings offered by Brave Merchant and Lindarosa.

Declan Cleary, NorseMerchant's Sales and Marketing Director, expects the strong demand for capacity to continue:

"There is currently a very high level of demand for space on the Birkenhead - Dublin route. This demand is strengthening as logistics and transport operators assess the impact of significant and sustained increases to the price of fuel, and recognise the cost benefit of using the long sea option that we provide.

"The additional sailings are designed to accommodate later running traffic on the 03.00hrs departure from Birkenhead, and still facilitate next-day deliveries in Ireland. We are very pleased to have secured the charter of Leili, which allows us to respond quickly to this demand. With her speed and capacity, Leili is ideally suited as a third vessel on the Birkenhead - Dublin route"

NorseMerchant will be bringing even more capacity to the Birkenhead - Dublin route in 2005, explains Mr Cleary:

"We announced last month our intention to switch our two Ro-Pax ships Lagan Viking and Mersey Viking from Belfast to the Dublin route when we take delivery of two newbuildings in July and December 2005. These ships will offer 20% more freight capacity than Brave Merchant and Lindarosa provide at present, as well as offering a twice-daily passenger and driver accompanied service."

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