Since the beginning of this year, the port has witnessed a 476 per cent increase in major cargo traffic to Europe. He’s on his way out of Dublin.
Coming out of the morning fog, a giant cargo ship from Dunkirk, France, plunges into a flood of trucks, and soon a ship arrives from Cherberg. Traffic erupts following the small Irish port of Rossaler Brexit.
On January 2, the Danish company DFDS opened the route between Dunkirk and Rossler on the southeastern tip of Ireland. This allows carriers to connect the Republic of Ireland with the rest of the European Union without having to go through the United Kingdom, thus avoiding new customs barriers.
Since then, the port’s freight traffic to Europe has increased by 476% compared to last year, its director Glenn Carr told AFP.
From three direct services a week to 15 in Europe today, ”he recalls.
Here, drivers screaming in French are busy with a lot of farm machinery. There, Spanish carriers wait in their vehicles to depart for Bilbao. On the way to the docks, a sign greets the steady flow of new arrivals from “Rosslayer Europort: Gateway to Europe”.
At the end of January 2016, the UK European officially left the European Union, and for more than four years after the 2016 referendum, the country voted 52% for Brexit. But the negative effects of this decision have only been felt since the beginning of this year, after a period of transition.
Faced with the obstacles and delays caused by the new ities formalities, the Irish haliers are reluctant to use the hitherto formed “land bridge” to connect Ireland with other parts of the European Union.
Prior to Brexit, about 150,000 trucks each year carried about 3 million tons of cargo through this route into and out of the European Union, quickly docking across the Irish Sea to Wales and then crossing the Channel by ferry from the south of England.
In early January, the port of Dublin – a major link on this “land bridge” – experienced a sudden slowdown in its flow, with some crossings canceled.
Since then, there are indications that Rosler Port, much smaller than Dublin but Ireland’s second largest cargo hub, has become the new preferred route to Europe. Although more time will pass, this is one that offers the least complications.
“When you move a freight car from one end to the other, there’s not much difference between what you tell us and what you see and the (now taken) land bridge,” Carr says. “On the other hand, you have no paperwork to fill, which saves you fuel and gives drivers more rest.”
In the vast woods of trucks parked on the Rosslair docks, one color stands out: the distinctive blue of the Amazon Prime trailers. Dozens are scattered across the harbor, which quickly loads and unloads.
To date, over five million Irish online shoppers rely on the widely available UK sites for shopping.
But amazon.co.uk, the UK site of the online sales giant, has been imposing “import tariffs” on certain items since January 1 to cover border sales tax, customs duties and rates collected in the importing country. But Irish customers can avoid charges and interruptions using Amazon’s European sites (amazon.fr, amazon.es, amazon.de).
According to Glenn Carr, the habits of suppliers and buyers 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 big customers like Amazon bringing in a lot of exports every day.”