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Irish Flagged Cargoship Trades in Domestic Waters & UK-Near European Continent

31st December 2021
An Irish-European Short-Sea Trader, the C-class cargoship Arklow Castle (built 2017/5,054dwat) departed Dublin Port this morning and passed its shipowners (Arklow Shipping) homeport located in Co. Wicklow. Asides operating in domestic waters, the short-sea trader is seen sailing in the North Sea having departed the UK east coast and bound for the near European continent. The vessel had set sail from either ports of Ipswich or Mistley, from where ships pass between the other ports of Felixstowe and Harwich before entering the open sea. An Irish-European Short-Sea Trader, the C-class cargoship Arklow Castle (built 2017/5,054dwat) departed Dublin Port this morning and passed its shipowners (Arklow Shipping) homeport located in Co. Wicklow. Asides operating in domestic waters, the short-sea trader is seen sailing in the North Sea having departed the UK east coast and bound for the near European continent. The vessel had set sail from either ports of Ipswich or Mistley, from where ships pass between the other ports of Felixstowe and Harwich before entering the open sea. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

Departing Dublin Port this morning was Arklow Castle, one of 10 C-class cargoship newbuilds which continue to be built for the Co. Wicklow shipowner as the latest launch in the series took place just a fortnight ago, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This launch was for Arklow Cloud, the seventh so far of the 5,054dwt short-sea trader series ordered by Arklow Shipping to the Ferus Smit shipyard in the Netherlands, where leadship Arklow Cadet was completed in 2016. 

The Dutch nation located along the North Sea, is from where the Arklow Castle was captured in Afloat's photo above of recent years, albeit when in waters off the UK coast side. The cargoship had departed from either of the English east coast ports of Ipswich located in Suffolk or Mistley in Essex. 

Both these British ports are no strangers for ASL vessels down the decades, as agricultural products are commonly traded from these ports to the near mainland European continent, Scandinavia, the Baltic and beyond. 

This has involved ASL bulkers and other fleetmates call to the Port of Ipswich, where the Associated British Port (ABP) handles 2m tonnes each year, whereas the Port of Mistley, run by T W Logistics Ltd, caters for smaller sized coasters carrying cargoes collectively up to 200,000 tonnes per annum. 

Ipswich is situated at the head of the River Orwell, approximately 10 nautical miles from the open sea, whereas Mistley on the River Stour is further inland and is 10 nautical miles from Harwich and Felixstowe.

The Port of Ipswich as alluded is close to Felixstowe, Britain's biggest 'box' boat (container) port that is opposite of Harwich, synonymous as the ferryport (Stena) connecting the Hoek van Holland in the western Dutch province of Holland. It is from the ferryport on the New Waterway Canal that connects to the Port of Rotterdam, Europe's biggest port with its P&O Ferries link to Hull.  

Returing to the Port of Ipswich which is operated by ABP, the port handles 2m tonnes annually in addition is the UK’s leading grain export port, given the proximity of East Anglian farms as well as other cargoes such as fertiliser, cement and aggregates.

The same latter cargo was assigned to Arklow Clipper, the most recent C -class to be in service, as the single-hold cargoship was launched in September. The cargo of aggregates on this occasion took place in November when loaded at Dublin Port which was a maiden call for the cargoship to the Irish capital, having sailed from the UK inland port of Manchester reached by the (MSC) Manchester Ship Canal. 

Also in the same month, Afloat tracked Arklow Clipper back in the UK north-west city with the cargoship berthed relatively close to the famous football venue of Old Trafford. Upon completion of operations, the C-class proceeded along the MSC to re-enter the Mersey Estuary and a passage of the Irish Sea.

Arklow Clipper's call to the Irish capital was to load scrap metal at the port's Deepwater Quay Berth (46), to some the DWB is otherwise known as the 'Coal' berth in recognition of times past.  Scrap cargo is typical at this quay where the Dublin facility of Hammond Lane Scrap Company is adjacently located. As for today's departed Arklow Castle, had berthed at Ocean Pier. 

Asides the C- class, Ferus Smit was responsible for orders also placed by ASL for the A-class cargoships with the six ship series completed with the launch of Arklow Artist (8,543dwat) back in May. Likewise of the C class, the newbuild was constructed at the yard's Dutch inland site located in Westerbroek, in the eastern province of Groningen. 

The cargoship was launched into the Winschoterdiep Canal which links the North Sea via the port of Delfzijl and nearby to Emden on the open sea which is used as a base for sea trials.

Both the A and C classes are Irish flagged merchent ships and with a registry given of the Co. Wicklow based shipping stronghold port.

Among the larger bulkers is the S class Arklow Spirit also with Irish registry is currently in South American waters while at anchor offshore of Sao Francisco in Brazil.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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