New shortsea link for Liverpool with key ports in Ireland and Spain

Lucia B

A new maritime route connecting Liverpool with Spain and Ireland has been announced.

Samskip and Boluda Lines will jointly launch shortsea container services connecting Santander, Dublin and Liverpool, in a new commitment to clients that also delivers a strategic expansion for Samskip’s and Boluda’s European sustainable transport network.

Launching on September 30, the joint service provides a new weekly Spain-Ireland-UK shortsea option for unitized cargoes that is highly cost competitive against road-ferry alternatives, while at the same time offering greater reliability and substantially reducing CO2 emissions per tonne mile.

Based on Saturday departures from Santander by the 803 TEU nominal capacity vessel LUCIA B, the new service offers a three-day transit time to Dublin port, with calls at Liverpool’s Royal Seaforth Container Terminal due two days after, before the ship’s southbound voyage to Spain.

In northern Spain, the focal point for operations will be Boluda Maritime Terminals Santander. Opened by Boluda in April 2023, after terminal investments approaching €40m, the brand new facility offers capacity to handle more than 110,000 TEUs a year.

In addition to adding value through logistics expertise and local knowledge, Samskip and Boluda Lines are maximising Santander’s operational, sustainability and market penetration potential by simultaneously launching block train rail services to/from Madrid and Seville.

Ólafur Orri Ólafsson, head of network optimisation & Iberia trade of Samskip, said: “Providing highly efficient, reliable, and sustainable shortsea products is at the center of what we do, and we are thrilled to continue to do just that in this new partnership with Boluda Lines.”

Meanwhile, the addition of Liverpool to north-south services represent a major new strategic commitment in the UK.

The Santander link is competitive for Spanish importers and exporters, while Liverpool adds a significant service option for shippers in the Ireland-UK trade.

The Port of Liverpool gives access to the M62 ‘corridor’ of motorway to reach key UK importers and exporters, where Samskip’s combination of efficient planning, in-house customs clearance expertise and UK-based truck capacity will deliver seamless logistics across the North West and beyond.

Ignacio Boluda Ceballos, vice chairman of Boluda Shipping, said: “In this new project, we will connect Santander with the UK and Ireland, offering an innovative solution for our clients, emphasising efficiency and sustainability across all modes of transportation rail, land, and maritime.

“We are particularly proud to showcase the new Maritime Platform in Santander, a project that our entire group is dedicated to, and in which we have invested all our efforts.”