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The service will be operated by Danish international shipping company DFDS. Shutterstock/Kelvin Atkins
shipping news

New Rosslare to Dunkirk ferry route announced as businesses urged to avoid UK landbridge

The new service will start in January and operate six times per week.

BUSINESSES ARE BEING urged to decide how they will get their goods to and from the European market when the Brexit transition period ends on 1 January.

A new direct ferry service from Rosslare Europort to Dunkirk is being heralded as a welcome addition to the slate of shipping options to replace the UK landbridge amid fears of lengthy delays. 

The service will be operated by Danish international shipping company DFDS and will run six-times a week starting from 2 January.

The additional route means there will be 13 each-way direct sailings between Rosslare and the European continent during peak times of year.

Transport minister Eamon Ryan said the service is a “welcome addition” of capacity as the Brexit transition phase comes to an end.

“I urge business to take advantage of these new routes as a real alternative to avoid the inevitable delays that will be experienced on the UK Landbridge,” Ryan said.

The government is urging business, freight logistics companies and hauliers to consider switching to direct maritime routes to the continent to avoid the delays involved in transiting through the UK.

Voyage time for the Rosslare-Dunkirk route will be 24 hours. This is longer than sailings to other French ports such as Cherbourg or Roscoff, but it leaves users within three hours of Paris and 20 minutes from the Belgian border.

“This is a hugely exciting development, not only for us in Rosslare Europort, but for Ireland as a whole, Irish industry, and the haulage sector,” the port’s general manager Glenn Carr said.

Carr said the route will also be attractive for inbound and outbound tourism when Covid-19 travel restrictions are eased.

Shannon Chamber, which represents 270 companies in the Shannon area, welcomed the news.

“This is exactly the news that our members and Irish companies generally needed to hear and is an issue that the Chamber along with the Irish Road Haulage Association has been lobbying on for some time,” said Eoin Gavin, vice-president of Shannon Chamber.

Exporters will “now have certainty that they will have a direct route to Europe from 2 January 2021,” which he said will remove “the much-dreaded alternative option” of the UK landbridge.

“This means for example, that a company in Shannon exporting goods on a Friday can be guaranteed their arrival at their European destination by latest Monday, guaranteeing speed to market as opposed to not knowing how long a delay they would face if goods were stalled at UK ports,” he added.

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