Shannon Chamber Welcomes new Direct Ferry Connection between Ireland and Mainland Europe

Friday 27, November 2020: Shannon Chamber has welcomed today’s announcement by DFDS that it is will provide a new daily direct ferry service between Rosslare Europort and Dunkirk from 2 January 2021.

“This is exactly the news that our members and Irish companies generally needed to hear and is an issue that the Chamber along with the Irish Road Haulage Association has been lobbying on for some time. We congratulate Irish Rail CEO, Jim Meade, Rosslare Europort general manager Glenn Carr, and DFDS, for working tirelessly to make this a reality,” said Shannon Chamber vice-president Eoin Gavin.

As owner of Eoin Gavin Transport, Gavin understands the benefits this direct daily service will offer to current exporters and the many new opportunities it will present.

“This is an issue we, as a Chamber with over 300 member companies, have been discussing with our elected representatives and, as recently as this week, have written to Government requesting that it be given priority attention. Today’s announcement is due to the great work being done by the team at Rosslare Europort who have kept the discussions with DFDS to the fore resulting in today’s announcement.

“Exporters now have certainty in that they will have a direct route to Europe from 2 January 2021, which will remove the much-dreaded alternative option of having to route goods destined for Europe on trucks through the Irish Sea ports, onwards via road through England and across the English Channel to mainland Europe – via the UK landbridge.  

“Delays would have been just one negative aspect of having to do this; the cost implications of having to make transit declarations to UK customs would also have been significant. Having a direct ferry service renders goods as intra-EU with no duty or VAT implications. We retain the status quo and operate as we are doing today with intra-EU deliveries. This means for example, that a company in Shannon exporting goods on a Friday can be guaranteed their arrival at their European destination by latest Monday, guaranteeing speed to market as opposed to not knowing how long a delay they would face if goods were stalled at UK ports.

“A Rosslare to Dunkirk ferry crossing places Irish goods in the heart of Europe and the potential to access key markets in other European counties. We can now say that, in this instance, Brexit has opened up many new possibilities. Friday, 27 November 2020 is a good day for Irish exporters, thanks to DFDS and Irish Rail, though  Rosslare Europort,” added Gavin.

This sentiment was endorsed by Willie Wixted, director of Shannon-based ABC Nutrition, whose products are exported to diverse European markets: “This comes as great news for SMEs such as ABC Nutrition. Being a food exporter we are conscious of delays in the supply chain that are anticipated transiting the UK. This route will give reassurance and also help relieve the extra regulatory burden on companies exporting to the European continent.”