From Landbridge to Seabridge
After months of negotiations, the UK and European Union finally agreed a deal that will define their future relationship.
In the meanwhile, ferry companies have strengthened or even created direct ferry links with the Republic of Ireland, the EU country on the ‘other side of the UK’.
These ferry routes avoid the ‘landbridge’ (*) over a non-EU country.
On 22 December 2020, Stena Line added roro ferry STENA FORETELLER on the Cherbourg-Rosslare route. She joined ropax STENA HORIZON, doubling the freight capacity as well as the frequency of sailings (12 weekly sailings)
On 2 January 2021, DFDS started a new 3-ship direct route from Dunkerque to Rosslare, with chartered VISBY and KERRY, and OPTIMA SEAWAYS.
CLdN increased its frequency / capacity from the continent to Dublin and Cork.
On 6 January 2021, W.B. YEATS, Irish Ferries’ largest ropax, start to sail on the Dublin-Cherbourg route.
W.B. YEATS has a much higher freight capacity than route vessel EPSILON, and enough cabins for truck drivers.
EPSILON will replace W.B. YEATS on Dublin-Holyhead.
Eucon (Irish Continental Group) introduced an extra 800 TEU container feeder vessel (MUSIC) on Dublin-Rotterdam.
“The majority of freight has successfully accessed our ports on the first day post-Brexit. The day has not been without issues for some hauliers, which was expected. The occasional vehicle has being turned away due to not having the correct customs references, but most have returned later with everything in order and been shipped.”
Ian Davies, Head of UK Port Authorities, Stena Line
“At the ports of Rotterdam and IJmuiden, the first day on which customs formalities again applied to freight transport between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union passed quietly. There has been no congestion around ferry terminals. It has also stayed very quiet at the special Brexit buffer parking zones for HGV drivers whose documents are not yet in order.”
Port of Rotterdam
“No problems in Zeebrugge. The start of the year is calm anyway and we have had a very busy month of November and December. Stocks have been built up in the UK, and they are decreasing systematically. Over the next few weeks, I expect traffic will grow to a normal level, end of January, mid-February.”
Port of Zeebrugge CEO Tom Hautekiet