The surging demand for direct ferries between Ireland and France is showing no signs of slowing down. Two more routes were announced over the weekend, while Rosslare Port say freight volumes on its EU routes are up 500% compared to last year.
On Saturday, Brittany Ferries said it would be starting its Cherbourg-Rosslare service today – 2 months earlier than originally planned. On the same day, Stena Line revealed that its Stena Estrid ferry would be taken off the Holyhead-Dublin route on weekends to make way for a new Dublin-Cherbourg service.
— Stena Line Group (@StenaLine) January 16, 2021
Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO, said that they had chosen its Cap Finistère vessel for the Rosslare-Cherbourg service due to its speed:
“Cap Finistère is our fastest Ro-Ro vessel and she is therefore well suited to opening this new Brexit by-pass, making an additional sailing each week connecting France and Ireland.”
Meanwhile, Paul Grant, Stena Line’s Trade Director for the Irish Sea, told RTE News on Saturday that freight volumes between Ireland and the UK were down 60% in the first two weeks of 2021.
Grant also confirmed that flows in and out of its ports have been distorted since the start of the year.
„Even just this week, what we are seeing is that freight volumes are still down coming into Dublin and coming into Rosslare. But we are seeing that some hauliers are finding it easier to come over the north. There are clear differences in terms of processes, we’re seeing some of our flows distorted, and I know that from a haulier perspective they just want to get back to moving their goods as efficiently as they possibly can to their destination.”
Although freight traffic between Ireland and the UK is noticeably down, the opposite is true on routes between Ireland and the EU.
Glenn Carr, General Manager at Rosslare Port, has said that Rosslare has seen „unprecedented demand” since the start of the year.
Carr made the comments in an interview published by the BBC yesterday, in which he revealed the port’s freight volume has increased by 500% on European Routes compared to 2020.
Carr also stressed that the number of sailings between Rosslare and French ports has gone up from three to fifteen in just eighteen months.