Sufficient capacity for Irish ferry services

According to a report, there is sufficient capacity on the existing ferry routes between Ireland and continental Europe to accommodate the road freight traffic displaced from the British land bridge by Brexit.

The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) report found that around 150,000 trucks a year currently use the land bridge to move goods between Ireland and continental Europe.

The shipping industry has also been found to be resilient, responsive, and able to adapt to and meet market demand, even without government intervention.

The Department of Transportation also said it and IMDO had been deeply involved with shipping companies over the past week.

You have assured them that they have the resources, the ability and the willingness to respond to changes in the demand for direct services to the continent.

The department said this includes the ability to improve services, redeploy ships within networks as needed, and introduce additional tonnage capacity as needed.

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton also confirmed that from January there will be additional daily ferry services from Dublin and Rosslare to Europe.

“The IMDO analysis shows that there is enough sea capacity to serve direct routes to the continent and, above all, that the shipping industry is very much ready to support this new demand,” said Transport Minister Eamon Ryan.

90% of Ireland’s international trade is through seaports, with the UK land bridge playing an extremely important role in relocating Irish exports and imports to and from Europe.

Because of this importance, the Transport Minister asked IMDO to assess the ability of the maritime sector to cope with potential disruptions due to Brexit and Covid-19.

Shippers and exporters have expressed concern about the impact on this movement if congestion occurs in UK ports starting January 1 after the end of the Brexit transition period.

Whether or not it is a trade agreement, additional customs and other controls are carried out on goods entering and leaving the UK.

“There is no doubt that Brexit will disrupt the operation of the UK land bridge and this report highlights the need to prepare well in advance to avoid unnecessary delays,” said Ryan.

“I would encourage everyone who works in the logistics and shipping industries to act now and heed the advice of IMDO.”

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