Seatruck Ferries is to introduce a third vessel onto to its Heysham - Warrenpoint service in the summer of 2005. Lembitu, to be renamed Challenge, will join the Seatruck fleet on a two-year charter
, allowing an additional 25,000 units per year to take advantage of the specialist freight route.
With a capacity of 65 units and a service speed of 16.5 knots, the Challenge is well proven on the Irish Sea and will join the Moondance and Riverdance to increase schedule frequency from 2 to 3 sailings per day in each direction. The additional sailings will be timed to ideally fit the needs of the Irish Sea transport industry. Seatruck expect volumes to increase to 85,000 units per year.
General Manager Alistair Eagles says, "We have been seeking a third vessel for some time in line with demand for additional capacity on the route. The "Challenge" will be a fantastic boost for our loyal customers, who will now be able to fully realise the benefits of the Warrenpoint service. We also have unprecedented interest levels from new clients and are predicting a rapid build-up of traffic on the extra sailings. This development will allow even more traffic to 'Swap to Seatruck'
Seatruck Ferries recently announced a newbuild program that will see two purpose-built vessels entering service in 2007. In 2004, Seatruck was named Irish Sea Shipping Line of the Year, and is confident that the substantial growth in the unaccompanied trailer freight market will underpin its new investments and increased capacity. On arrival of these new 22-knot, 120-unit vessels, Seatruck Ferries capacity will increase once again to 130,000 units per year.