Stena Line has been forced to suspend sailings between Fishguard and Rosslare until 12 April, to plug gap left by P&O between Larne and Cairnryan.
P&O’s two ships – the European Causeway and the European Highlander – haven’t sailed on the route since the company sacked all 800 staff on St Patrick’s Day.
It caused a freight backlog on a key route used to bring goods into Northern Ireland.
As a result, Stena Line moved the Stena Nordica onto the route as an extra freight ship from its usual Dublin to Holyhead service.
It was replaced on that route by the Stena Europe – which had been sailing between Fishguard and Rosslare.
“We were worried that there wouldn’t be enough ferry capacity,” Stena Line’s Simon Palmer told UTV.
“Retailers, customers and some of the politicians were all worried about supplies. We don’t make up for the full two ships that P&O have, but at least we have an extra vessel there to take up a lot of the excess demand for freight in particular.”
It’s hoped the suspension of the Fishguard and Rosslare can end when the Stena Horizon ship leaves dry dock following a makeover. It’s due to leave on 11 April.