Brexit by-pass route could link Waterford to northern France
Port authorities are considering a new shipping route that would link Waterford to northern France.
Several companies are understood to have expressed interest in the route which could begin operating next year and would help ease Brexit problems for Irish exporters.
The move would have the support of the Government since it is in line with both the policies of decentralisation from Dublin and increasing direct links to mainland Europe.
Waterford currently has services running twice-weekly to Rotterdam (DFDS/Samskip) and weekly to Rotterdam Deep Sea (BG Freight/Hapag-Lloyd/Maersk) from where shipments transit to a range of global destinations.
The Port’s management has confirmed that it is measuring market demand for a new service that would directly connect the South East of Ireland with northern France.
Port of Waterford CEO Frank Ronan said: “We always stay in close contact with our customers and prospective customers. Through that, we know there is some demand for a direct connection between Waterford and northern France.
“We are now engaging more with industry and other stakeholders about the viability of such a service which would be very much complementary to our existing Rotterdam routes. All those trading goods between Ireland and mainland Europe are obviously very aware of Brexit looming and what this means for any shipments that would previously have transited overland through Wales and England.”
The Port announced that it has seen increased traffic through its container terminal at Belview this year.
In the 10 months to 31 October, the Port handled 19,576 containers, an increase of 11% on the same period in 2019.
At 1.1 million tonnes, bulk volumes were in line with the previous year. The Port’s overall revenues for the period amounted to €5.5m which was down by approximately 10% reflecting decreased parking revenues in Waterford city centre arising from the Covid-19 restrictions.