Daytime sailings proposed for livestock freight

Day-time sailings are being considered to ease the pressure on freight capacity issues, during the livestock season. 

Following a meeting with Transport Scotland and Serco NorthLink Ferries on Tuesday 28 June 2022, the seafood industry and hauliers wrote to Transport Scotland and the operator outlining an option to alleviate the freight capacity issues between the Lerwick to Aberdeen route.

The option proposed daytime sailings, however, was leaving finer details to NorthLink should they have preferred times.

However, it has been noted that this does not address the wider issue of capacity that passengers have experienced in previous weeks.

Chief executive of Seafood Shetland, Ruth Henderson, said: “We proposed that the most practical, financially viable, and achievable solution was the introduction of a daytime sailing of the passenger vessel on a Monday and Tuesday. 

“What we are looking for is that the vessels arriving at 7am in both Lerwick and Aberdeen are turned around for a 9am departure, arriving at 7pm, which brings them back on station for sailing again that evening; accepting that the operator may have more preferred timings.  

 “Our proposal was for a four-week period in September – primarily to carry cars, empty trailers, and livestock cassettes – which would, undoubtedly, deliver a significant easing to the extreme pressure which is faced by hauliers and other parties across the week.”

Transport Scotland responded to the letter on Thursday. 

It said: “The proposal made at the meeting on 21 June for daytime sailings is one that has been previously put forward and is an option we are discussing with NorthLink. 

“An update will be provided when all the details are available and can fully consider the effects this proposal would have on the service.”


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