A sharp decline in freight traffic to the UK due to Brexit has led Stena Line to re-route its newest vessel to Rosslare from its original port of Belfast.
Originally scheduled for service on the Belfast-Liverpool route, Stena Embla will instead temporarily sail between Rosslare and Cherbourg as the company responds to the Brexit-related shift for direct routes that has seen a 26 per cent drop in freight traffic between Northern Ireland and the UK and a resultant rise in demand for direct access to European markets. The first sailing will be this evening’s 20.25 hrs departure from Rosslare, Thursday 14th January 2021.
In the evening of January 13 the company tweeted: “in anotherBrexit-busting move our new vessel Stena Embla is NOT starting from Belfast as planned. She’s being deployed on our Rosslare to Cherbourg route from tomorrow. It can add 3km of trucks & 175 comfy cabins – that’s a lot of sleep-happy truckers,” and added the hashtag #brexit.
Breaking news: in another Brexit-busting move our new vessel Stena Embla is NOT starting from Belfast as planned. She's being deployed on our Rosslare to Cherbourg route from tomorrow. It can add 3km of trucks & 175 comfy cabins – that's a lot of sleep-happy truckers. #brexit https://t.co/IrkDmnS8Np
— Stena Line (@StenaLine) January 13, 2021
Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Irish Sea Trade Director, said: “Given the short-term market distortion, we have decided to temporarily deploy our new Stena Embla vessel on the Rosslare – Cherbourg route. Clearly Brexit has created an increase in the demand for direct freight routes, and in particular driver accompanied freight, so the addition of Stena Embla, whilst temporary, plus the recently introduced Stena Foreteller to the route will provide a welcome addition for our customers at this time.”
The addition of the Embla means that Stena Line now operate 12 crossings a week between Ireland and continental Europe.