Catching the tide: new shipping route from Waterford will ease Brexit problems
A major expansion of shipping from the South East is being planned to help Irish exporters bypass the problems of Brexit.
A new freight route is being opened from Waterford to Rotterdam and a blueprint has been unveiled for a €30 million development of Rosslare Europort .
The new route to Rotterdam will be operated by the Hapag-Lloyd company and will also connect Waterford with the deep sea hub of Liverpool and open the door to many international routes.
The new service will provide businesses in the South East with a cost-effective service and reduce their reliance on Dublin and Cork.
“It adds to the options we can provide current and prospective customers moving containers to and from the UK, continental Europe and onwards globally,” said Frank Ronan, CEO of the Port of Waterford.
In a related development, there are plans to create a new Ballina-Waterford rail freight service under contract with Irish Rail Freight Services.
Its main client is Ballina Beverages. The multi-national producer will transport its soft drinks concentrate to markets worldwide, from Waterford through Rotterdam. A successful test run has been conducted, carrying the product from Waterford to the Dutch port and onwards across Europe.
Meanwhile, planning permission is being sought for a major transformation of Rosslare Europort. The port authority, Iarnród Éireann, has revealed a strategic plan that will see more than €30m invested over the next five years.
Rosslare has daily and weekly direct services to England, France and Spain and the plan will add new facilities and infrastructure which Iarnród Éireann hopes will make it Ireland’s gateway to Europe and Britain.
As well as direct development of the port, the plan calls for substantial investment in the surrounding area.
Developments will include construction of the N25 Rosslare Europort Access Road by Wexford County Council, development of the Rosslare Europort Business Park by the Dutch company XELLZ and construction of permanent facilities to meet all customs and Brexit requirements at the port.