Stena Line's 1st year of success on Cairnryan-Belfast route

Monday 07 November 2011

Stena Line is celebrating the first anniversary of its new Cairnryan-Belfast route connecting Scotland with Northern Ireland with the news that freight has played a key role in what has been a very successful first year of service with freight volumes having increased by in excess of 50% “In any project the key to success is planning and coordination but that alone is not enough to bring about change of the magnitude we have seen. You also need an outstanding team with clear objectives and unstoppable focus from the outset”, said Frank Nieuwenhuys, Freight Commercial Manager for the UK & Republic of Ireland. Even before the inaugural sailing on 21st November 2011 there was a very close working relationship between the Stena Line commercial and route management teams. Crucially, key decisions were taken around the needs of freight customers and their drivers travelling on board. From defining the timetables to specifying the recliners on board where drivers would take their rest periods, a huge amount of detailed planning went into developing the optimal standards of service Stena Line could provide to satisfy the needs of the market. As well as service innovations Stena Line Freight also set about developing comprehensive commercial plans to help drive the new service forward.

Marketing and advertising campaigns were developed to help provide clear, consistent and compelling messaging to new as well as existing customers. Despite investing over £200M on the new route, new port and new ships, Stena Line Freight continues to innovate. Frank Nieuwenhuys added: “Some organisations may have thought that establishing a new route would provide them with an opportunity to rest on their laurels, not Stena Line Freight. We continually speak with our customers in a variety of ways and incrementally increase our product and service offering to even higher standards. Innovations such as our in-port 24 hour freight refuelling facility clearly demonstrate our commitment to the freight market. The new service has been extremely beneficial to our customers and usage continues to grow each month, for example in October the fuel facility supplied 250,000 litres. The results we have announced after our first year operating the Cairnryan-Belfast service shows that this commitment has been enthusiastically welcomed by the industry. “What was critical though was getting the basics right first time – location, speed, frequency, timings, quality of service and ships with the right capacity to provide the core requirements upon which we continue to build. This is what the market and specifically the freight customer needs”, he concluded. Stena Line operates up to 6 daily return sailings between Cairnryan-Belfast with its Superfast vessels completing the crossing in 2hrs 15 mins