July 21 - Stena Line will replace the vessels operating on its Rotterdam, the Netherlands to Harwich, UK service with larger ro-ro ships in response to demands for increased freight capacity.

The Capucine and Severine, which currently operate twice daily from Europoort to Harwich, will be replaced by Misida and Misana when the present charter contracts expire in January 2018.

According to Stena Line, the overall freight capacity of the route will be increased by approximately 20 percent. The change coincides with the expected completion of a second berth in Europoort, part of an investment programme to develop the port into a strong multipurpose freight transport hub.

"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," says Annika Hult, trade director at Stena Line North Sea. "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 ro-ro transportation will only increase in the future."

The vessels, which measure 165.75 m in length and feature a capacity of 2,155 lane metres, will be operated on a time-charter contract.