Stena Line reinforces its Irish Sea management to drive growth in the region

Swedish ferry operator Stena Line has announced strategic changes to its management team aimed at further enhancing its position as a market leader and driving continued growth in the region.

Over recent years, Stena Line’s Irish Sea operation has experienced significant expansion solidifying its status as a cornerstone of the company’s network. With 13 ships operating across 7 routes and providing a market leading 240 sailings each week, the Irish Sea has become an increasingly vital component of Stena Line’s business.

The recent launch of the Dublin – Liverpool freight route further underscored the company’s commitment to providing efficient and reliable transport solutions across the Irish Sea. As part of its ongoing development, Stena Line will be reinforcing regional management to effectively address the new opportunities and demands that lie ahead.

Since 2020, Paul Grant and his dedicated regional management team have demonstrated remarkable resilience and leadership, successfully navigating through both Brexit and the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under their guidance, Stena Line has achieved significant growth, with car volumes increasing by almost 20% and freight volumes by 4%, setting new records for business levels in the region.

Effective June 1, 2024, Stena Line will revert to a two-region structure to reflect its growing business needs. Paul Grant, who has played a pivotal role in the success of the Irish Sea operations, will assume responsibility for the newly established Irish Sea North region, overseeing operations from Belfast. In addition, Paul will join the main board of Stena Line (UK) Ltd. and serve as Stena Line’s representative on the UK Chamber of Shipping Ferry & Cruise.

“The Irish Sea has long been a key market for Stena Line, and I am pleased to continue leading our efforts and growth in our Belfast hub,”says Paul Grant, incoming Trade Director for Irish Sea North. “I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and confident that, with our reinforced management team, we will strengthen Stena Line’s position as the foremost ferry operator on the Irish Sea.”

Johan Edelman will take up the role of Trade Director for the Irish Sea South region, overseeing operations from Dublin and Rosslare. With a focus on development and growth, Johan will work to further enhance Stena Line’s presence in the region, building upon the strong foundation laid by his predecessors. Johan is currently the Trade Director for Baltic Sea North, covering the routes between Nynäshamn and Ventspils as well as between Liepāja and Travemünde.

Johan Edelman, incoming Trade Director for Irish Sea South, said: “I am thrilled to join the team on the Irish Sea and look forward to driving growth and innovation in the Irish Sea South region. Together with Paul and the entire Stena Line team, I am committed to delivering exceptional service and value to our customers while further expanding our market presence.”

The Irish Sea North and Irish Sea South regions are closely connected, and both Paul and Johan will be dedicated to ensuring seamless collaboration and a unified brand experience across the entire Irish Sea network.

As a result of these strategic changes, Stena Line will be well positioned to embark on a new chapter of growth and success in the Irish Sea, reaffirming its position as the preferred choice for passengers and freight operators alike.

Increasing cargo capacity on Stena Forerunner and Stena Foreteller

Meanwhile, on behalf of Stena Line, Stena RoRo has signed a conversion contract with China Merchants Jinling (Weihai) Shipyard for the installation of an additional cargo deck, increased thruster capacity and preparations for shore power onboard Stena Foreteller and Stena Forerunner.

The cargo capacity will increase by 30% and the vessels will after conversion be ready to meet future efficiency requirements. The conversion for both vessels will be finalised during 2025.

“At Stena RoRo we see the investment of the installations on the Stena Forerunner and Stena Foreteller as a way to improve services for our fleet customers. We strive to increase cargo capacity while also keeping sustainability in focus. It’s all part of Stena’s identity. Signing the contract with China Merchants Jinling Shipyard is a step in the right direction,” says Per Westling, Managing Director at Stena RoRo.

In 2023, both vessels were decarbonised by changing propellers, applying silicone paint and adding interceptors, and the additional cargo deck will further decrease the carbon intensity index factor and further reduce CO2 emissions per cargo unit. After the conversion the vessels will be deployed in the Stena Line route network.

Sustainable ambitions

”The conversion of the Stena Forerunner and Stena Foreteller fits with our ambition to reduce our CO2 emissions. In addition to increasing the cargo capacity by 30% on both the Stena Forerunner and Stena Foreteller, we also take this opportunity to invest in onboard shore power.

“At Stena Line we feel the need to ensure both a sustainable business and a more sustainable environment,” says Niclas Mårtensson, CEO at Stena Line.

Another recent collaboration with China Merchants Jinling Shipyard has been the order of the two NewMax hybrid vessels for Stena Line for the Irish Sea routes. These vessels will be delivered in 2025.