The company has taken delivery of its 9th vessel, the 5,000m3 Scot Isles, which is a sister ship to Scotline‘s existing Scot Mariner and Scot Trader.

In addition, Scotline is currently negotiating the construction of two new ships, which it would expect to be delivered in about two years time.

“The market remains firm but we have to keep investing in newer vessels to upgrade the fleet,” said the company’s managing director Peter Millat. “This allows us to be able to offer the service with reliability.”

The new ship replaces a smaller vessel which Scotline sold during the summer.

Mr Millat said regulations were making maintenance of older vessels not very cost effective.

The Scot Isles, which used to operate as a container ship between Jacksonville and Bermuda, will be sailing between the Swedish port of Varberg and a range of UK ports, including Rochester, Goole and Inverness, as well as Ireland.

Meanwhile, the company’s new service from Bremen is designed to replace shipments from the Baltics, where timber shortages are being experienced.

“Over the last six months timber prices have been escalating. There was quite a lot of German and Austrian timber going to America but now it is being diverted to the UK and Ireland, added Mr Millat.

“It’s an area where we see potential and a reason for expanding the fleet.”

About three to four sailings per month are running on the German service.