With Brexit, Rosslare’s small Irish port has become the new gateway to Europe

Since the beginning of the year, the port has registered a 476% increase in freight traffic in mainland Europe compared to the previous year. He is on track to explore Dublin.

Emerging from the morning fog, a huge ferry from Dunkirk, France, is soon followed by a ship arriving from Cherbourg, flooding trucks. Rosslair’s small Irish port sees its traffic explosion after Brexit.

The line between Dunkirk and Rosalare at the southeastern tip of Ireland was opened by Danish company DFDS on 2 January. This allows carriers to connect with the rest of the European Union without going through the United Kingdom, thus avoiding new customs barriers.

Since then, the port has registered a 476% increase in freight rates in mainland Europe, compared to last year, its director, Glenn Carr, told AFP.

We went from three direct services per week to 15 today in continental Europe, ”he says, dumb.

Here, drivers shouting in French are busy around a load of agricultural machinery. There, Spanish carriers wait for Bilbao to board their vehicles. On the way to the dock, a sign welcomes the continuous flow of new arrivals from “Rosalare Europort: Gateway to Europe”.

The UK officially left the European Union in late January 2020, more than four years after the 2016 referendum that gave the country 52% of the vote for Brexit. But the concrete effects of this decision have only been felt since the beginning of this year after the transition period.

With the constraints and delays caused by the new formalities, Irish hulliers are increasingly reluctant to use the “land bridge” that the United Kingdom has formed to connect Ireland with the rest of the European Union.

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Prior to Brexit, more than 150,000 trucks transported approximately 3 million tonnes of cargo each year from the European Union via this route, crossing quickly to dock across the Irish Sea in Wales and then crossing the channel Back by ferry from the south of England.

In early January, the port of Dublin – an essential link in this “land bridge” – experienced a sudden malfunction in its flow, and some crossings were canceled.

Since then, there have been indications that Rosslare Port is much smaller than Dublin, but Ireland’s second main freight hub, may become the new preferred route to Europe. It is the one that promises the fewest complications despite the passage of more time.

“When you move the transport of an object from one end to the other, what we are told and what we see is that there is not much difference between now and the land bridge,” Carr says. “On the other hand, you don’t have any paperwork to fill, you save fuel and your drivers take more rest”.

Amidst the huge forest of trucks parked at Rosalare Dock, one color stands out: the exclusive blue of the Amazon Prime Trailers. Dozens are scattered across the harbor, which load and unload at high speeds.

Until now, five million Irish often relied on more widely available UK sites for online shopping.

But the online selling giants’ UK site, amazon.co.uk, has been imposing “import duties” on some items since 1 January, so that “customs, customs and duties can be collected in the import country”. But Irish customers can avoid fees and disruption by using Amazon’s European sites (amazon.fr, amazon.es, amazon.de).

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According to Glenn Carr, there are signs that distributors ‘and buyers’ habits have already changed since the end of the transition period.

“Many large Irish brands now bring their products directly from continental Europe,” he explains. “We see large customers like Amazon bringing in lots of shipments daily.”

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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