By Dan Walsh
A new six day per week shipping route operated by DFDS from Rosslare Europort to Dunkirk in France is to commence on January 2nd.
The new service will bring to 13 the number of direct sailings between Rosslare Europort and the European continent, each way, every week, during peak times of year.
“This is a hugely exciting development, not only for us in Rosslare Europort, but for Ireland as a whole, Irish industry, and the haulage sector”, Port General Manager Glenn Carr said this morning.
Voyage time for the Rosslare-Dunkirk will be 24 hours which is longer than the sailings to other French ports such as Cherbourg or Roscoff, but will bring hauliers and other users within three hours of Paris and 20 minutes from the Belgian border.
Local Minister James Browne TD has described the establishment the new shipping route as “as a game changer for the South East.”
“Having a new direct route to mainland Europe will be vital for trade, particularly if the expected delays at British Ports materialises as is predicted from December 31st.
“I have advocated for a new route with numerous stakeholders in Government and in the industry. Recently I met with Minister for Trade Promotion Robert Troy TD on this very issue.
Recently, on Minister Browne’s invitation Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne TD visited Rosslare Europort and met with General Manager of Rosslare Europort Glenn Carr, Chief Executive of Wexford County Council Tom Enright, Gardaí Superintendent Jim Doyle, and Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr. Ger Carthy. At this meeting the future of the Port and new routes were discussed.
“Today’s announcement is massively important for the South East. It secures our county as a key trading location for decades to come and will be hugely beneficial to Wexford and the wider region,” concluded Minister Browne.
Other shipping operators already sailing from Rosslare to the continent are StenaLine, Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries.
There are currently three return sailings between Rosslare and France each week as well as three between Dublin and Cherbourg and three between Dublin and Rotterdam.
This news comes after planning permission was granted for a €30m development at Rosslare, which includes a reconfiguration of the port along with new infrastructure and facilities, aimed at increasing the number of routes.
Other developments in the area include construction of a new N25 Rosslare Europort Access Road by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Wexford County Council, as well as a new business park by Dutch company XELLZ and a new border inspection post, which includes facilities for Customs, health and agriculture checks, designed for the post-Brexit business environment.