Brexit increases Ro-Ro traffic in Ireland

© Alexis Morin

Trailer traffic between Cherberg (Manche) and Ireland will triple in 2021. According to Norman Harbor, the reason for this leap was simple: Brexit made the direct axis between France and Ireland “more competitive” than the voyage through England.
As a result, “in 2021, Port Cherberg recruited 7 dockers on permanent contracts and 12 on permanent contracts. Combined with the quality of their work and the development of traffic, it will be possible to make their contracts permanent by 2022,” port management said. .
Its ro-ro traffic between France and Ireland increased from 33,888 trailers by the end of December 2020 to 100,000 by the end of December 2021, Norman Port explains.
As part of that, the number of unattended trailers doubled. It rose from 20,000 to 45,000, he estimates.
Even the results of La Manche port’s cross-channel operations and trade have been “restructured (…) thanks to a threefold increase in trailer traffic to Ireland and positive effects on renewable marine energy traffic.”
The port of Cherberg is particularly affected by the proposed wind farm in the Gulf of Saint-Bruck.

The number of passengers decreased

This growth in trailer traffic to Ireland has “not been able to offset the decline in passenger numbers with England, which is very strong”, as Kovid has made clear since its inception.
The port had announced in February 2021 that it would triple the number of trailer traffic in January 2021 compared to January 2020. But Ole Bockmann, head of Irish ferry operations in France, described the jump as “temporary”.
About ten dockers were in training that day, along with forty regular dockers.
The port of Cherbourg offers “one of the shortest sea routes with an average crossing time of 17h00 between Ireland and the mainland”, about six hours longer than arriving in Calais via England.

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