There has been a very significant growth in the number of roll-on roll-off freight units (ie lorries) being carried via the Holyhead ferries in the last few years. Much of the traffic involves lorries from various parts of mainland Europe.
Terminal 5 Development
Stena have invested circa £15M in the development of a new two-tier berth on Salt Island, which was officially opened in July 2003, coinciding with the introduction of the Stena Adventurer superferry. This expansion of the port's facilities benefited from EU Objective One transport & accessibility funding of £3.5M.
Port Access/Exit Infrastructure
The existing port access/exit arrangements have a number of deficiencies in terms of port operations, but also in terms of causing traffic congestion, environmental, and safety problems in the town. They also mean that the town centre does not benefit as much from spend by ferry users as it did in the past. Plans for alternative port access/exit arrangements have therefore been prepared with a view to improved arrangements. This scheme relies on achieving the proposed new A55/Town Centre/Port link road scheme.
Non-ferry sea freight operations at Holyhead Port are fairly limited. The main ongoing activity involves the landing of aluminium ore for the Anglesey Aluminium smelter at Holyhead - the ore is landed on a special jetty off Salt Island. Occasional usage is made of the port/harbour for loading or unloading bulky goods eg for marine construction.
Finished aluminium was also shipped out from Holyhead Port to European destinations.
Holyhead has one of the largest deep water sheltered harbours on the west side of the UK. This was created during the 19th century by the construction of the 1.5 mile long breakwater. This old stone structure is now in great need of refurbishment if it is to survive and continue to be a useful economic asset - many businesses and jobs rely on it. The breakwater clearly has the potential to be used for leisure and tourism uses. Studies are being carried out to look at what needs to be done to safeguard it.
Several cruise ships call into Holyhead each year, using it to access the tourist attractions of North Wales. The number of ships has been growing year on year.