On 21 July 2017, in response to demand on the route from Rotterdam (Europoort) to Harwich, Stena Line announced that it is to increase capacity by changing to larger ships.
The current ro-ro ships Capucine and Severine, which operate twice daily from Europoort in the Netherlands and Harwich in the UK, will be replaced by larger ships, Misada and Misina, when their present charter contracts expire in January 2018. As a result, the overall freight capacity of the route will increase by approximately 20%.
The change coincides with the expected completion of a second berth in Europoort, part of a significant investment program in the port to ensure it develops into a strong multipurpose freight transport hub. The capacity expansion is also linked to Europoort developing as an important rail freight connection point to and from the UK.
Annika Hult, Trade Director at Stena Line North Sea said: “I am very pleased to announce that we will now take the next step in the strategic development of our Rotterdam (Europoort) – Harwich route.
“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 utilisation on this route. This has been further fuelled by freight volumes arriving to Europoort by train. The current rail connections between Poznan, Poland and Europoort, which changed ownership earlier this year, are running very well. We believe that this combination of rail and RoRo transportation will only increase in the future.”
“We want to be in the best place to care for the business needs of our most important relations, our customers. With this tonnage change and capacity increase we clearly demonstrate that we will 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.”
“The new vessels will be chartered on a time-charter contract and will consequently be fully manned. 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,” she concluded.