Irish sea freight operators come out as viable alternatives to the UK ‘land bridge’

Nov 18, 2020

The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) has found that Irish/EU exporters currently reliant on the UK’s widely used ‘land bridge’ to transport goods between continental Europe and Ireland can switch over to sea routes, but only if adequate measures to prepare are taken now.

EU-based companies shipping goods between Ireland and mainland Europe should field-test potential sea options now. This has been the guidance from the Department of Transport. In a recently published report, the IMDO takes stock of Ireland’s maritime trade links by assessing the impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on the same. They also highlight the capacity of sea freight links as a potential alternative to the land bridge. However, this may not be possible in all instances of transporting goods, for example perishable foods, or time-sensitive goods.

Separately, ferry companies operating on the Irish Sea are now preparing to undertake additional customs paperwork when moving between UK and Ireland in hopes of speeding up transit through ports. The report has also stressed the viability of Irish sea freight operators to provide direct services to the continent. This in turn has been supported by a boost in investments in key ports to cope with increased Brexit-related administrative obligations, and to provide sea freight operators more options.