The landbridge and perishable goods
Sir, – Prof John O’Hagan makes an interesting contribution to the debate on the need to increase direct shipping capacity from Ireland to mainland Europe, following Brexit (Letters, September 26th). However, not all freight traffic would benefit from the provision of extra capacity. Perishable products with a limited shelf-life require the faster landbridge routes through Britain.
The landbridge route through Dublin and Calais takes approximately 20 hours, half the time it takes on direct roll-on/roll-off services to continental Europe. In 2018, the Irish Maritime Development Office confirmed that, while the landbridge option is more expensive than direct routes when UK haulage costs are included, its superior transit time is a competitive prerequisite in certain industry sectors.
Those who still intend to continue to use landbridge routes need to accelerate their preparations for the transit customs declaration process that comes into operation after the end of December 2020. – Yours, etc,