Seatruck plans to withdraw from Larne-Heysham route

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A FREIGHT-ONLY ferry company is set to withdraw its operations from the Port of Larne, it has been revealed.

Irish Sea ro-ro ferry operator Seatruck, which has operated a service between Larne and Heysham since 2010, will not be renewing its Port User agreement and will instead move to the Port of Belfast at the start of May.

The Times has learned that P&O Ferries and Larne Harbour Ltd had been locked in discussions with Seatruck in recent months in the hope of retaining the business at the Port of Larne, but without success. We also understand that P&O has now been informed that stevedoring and check in services provided to Seatruck at Larne will now longer be required.

At the time ofwriting, it was not known how many jobs - if any - would be affected by the move. A spokesman for P&O told the Times that trade union representatives had been advised of Seatruck’s withdrawal and added that the full impact of the decision would be assessed in the near future.

Seatruck Ferries is part of the Clipper Group, a shipping company based in The Bahamas, which operates out of five ports on the Irish Sea. After coming to Larne two years ago, the company initially operated with one ship, the Clipper Ranger, making six round trips a week to Heysham in the North West of England. A second ship, the Arrow, was added later.