Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Calls for progress on Southern Relief Road as Seatruck announces €100m investment at Warrenpoint Port

Warrenpoint Port has announced another major investment – this time a €100 million investment by Seatruck Ferries, the Irish Sea freight specialist, which will increase capacity on the Warrenpoint to Heysham route by 30%. 

Seatruck will deploy two larger freight ferries on the route later this summer, in direct response to growing demand for unaccompanied trailer space and enabling the firm to carry 30,000 additional trailers annually on the key crossing.

The move will see the four-deck Seatruck Precision and Seatruck Performance replace the current three-deck vessels and operate an 11-time weekly service between the ports.

Announcing the significant investment, Alistair Eagles, Chief Executive of Seatruck Ferries said:

Warrenpoint Port will continue to be a cornerstone of the Seatruck operation, “whatever the outcome of the Brexit land border negotiations.”

He said adding larger ships to the Warrenpoint route “is the next logical step for Seatruck and I have no doubt that it will be very popular providing more unaccompanied trailer space to our growing customer base, as the industry seeks solutions to the ongoing driver shortage.”

The Seatruck boss added that the larger vessels underline the need for the development of the Southern Relief Road, which will connect Warrenpoint Port directly to the main Belfast-Dublin motorway. “Seatruck fully support this key piece of infrastructure,” said Mr Eagles.

Welcoming the announcement, Clare Guinness, Chief Executive of Warrenpoint Port said:

“This is a significant investment by Seatruck Ferries and is a clear commitment to Warrenpoint Port and the wider Newry, Mourne and Down district, which will directly benefit from the increase in trade. 

“We have a strong relationship with Seatruck and the Port is supporting the company with the provision of additional terminal areas.

“Our recently launched Masterplan outlined our vision for the development of the Port for benefit of the wider economy and community. Part of that strategy is to grow freight ferry volumes and this welcome announcement will assist the Port in realising that vision.”

Ms Guinness echoed the sentiments of Seatruck Chief Executive, Mr Eagles, reiterating the pressing need for increased space at the Port “which must also be supported by key infrastructure projects such as the South Relief Road,” she said.

Mary Meehan, CEO Newry Chamber of Trade and Commerce, also welcomed the investment and added that the Southern Relief Road “now becomes even more of a priority for the Department for Infrastructure to improve connectivity across the region and support the growth of our local businesses.”