Rosslare Europort has had a good Brexit

Twenty-four direct routes created between Rosslare and mainland Europe since 2020

Rosslare Europort has seen a spike in freight volumes as traders avoid the land bridge of Britain in favour of direct routes to continental Europe

Rosslare Europort has seen a spike in freight volumes as traders avoid the land bridge of Britain in favour of direct routes to continental Europe

 

There are not many businesses that can say this but Rosslare Europort has had a good Brexit. The southeastern port operated by State-owned Iarnród Éireann spotted the benefits of capacity and geography by taking an underused Irish port, the closest to mainland Europe, and making it a beachhead for traders looking to avoid the post-Brexit border chaos of going through British ports.

The remarkable 371 per cent annual increase in European freight volumes through the Co Wexford port shows how successful that strategy has been. Its significant investment in infrastructure and preparations in the year before Brexit has paid off in the period since the UK left the EU. Rosslare has had its busiest year ever.

The changes have taken place at a remarkable pace. Twenty-four direct routes were created between Rosslare and mainland Europe since 2020 and they have already become well-established and preferred by hauliers who previously ventured across the UK “land bridge”.

But this is a tale of two ports. Last year Dublin Port lost lorry freight units – ro-ro (roll-on, roll-off) traffic – while Rosslare Europort made gains as hauliers headed for the southeast and the direct ferries to slip by Brexit Britain. The decline of the land bridge had a bigger impact on Dublin but this was offset by a shift from ro-ro freight to lo-lo (lift-on, lift-off) shipping containers.

What is still unclear is the full effect of Brexit. The UK still has to turn on its own border checks on goods from Ireland. This certainly won’t be good for Irish exporters. London has put these controls with Ireland on hold pending EU-UK talks on the operation of the Northern Ireland protocol, the post-Brexit rules that set the level of checks on goods passing from Britain into Northern Ireland.

Right now, Northern Ireland’s trade border with Britain is more porous compared with the more robust checks in place at Dublin and Rosslare on British-traded goods since the start of last year. As a result, Northern Ireland’s ports have seen an increase in volumes at the expense of southern ports. Northern Irish businesses and hauliers are not the only ones going “over the top” through the North from Scotland and England.

Resolving the protocol issue will probably bring further Brexit-related changes to both Dublin and Rosslare.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.