Swedish ferry company Stena Line is to increase capacity by changing to larger ships in response to demand on the route from Rotterdam (Europoort) to Harwich.
The current RoRo ships Capucine and Severine, which operate twice daily between Europoort and Harwich, will be replaced by larger ships, the RoRo ships MV Misida and MV Misana, when their present charter contracts expire in January 2018.
The new vessels will be chartered on a time-charter contract and will consequently be fully manned, the company said.
“Unfortunately this will impact our onboard staff. As a company we want to avoid as many redundancies from happening as reasonably possible and we will be looking at all available options including redeployment to other vessels within Stena Line,” Annika Hult, Trade Director at Stena Line North Sea, said.
Following the increase in capacity, Stena Line said it expects its overall freight volume of the route to rise by some 20 percent. The change coincides with the expected completion of a second berth in Europoort, part of an investment program in the port in an effort to develop it into a multipurpose freight transport hub.
“We have seen a strong growth in the transport market to the UK over the past several years and we are currently trading at very high utilization on this route,” Hult said.
“With this tonnage change and capacity increase we clearly show that we will be keep on providing a reliable service where we can meet future demands. Europoort continues to develop as a key freight hub for Stena Line and we are confident our customers will react positively to our further expansion.”