County Wexford Chamber welcomes the news by DFDS of a new, six-times direct weekly service each way between Rosslare Europort and Dunkirk in Northern France.
The new service, which begins on the 2nd January, 2021 will give Irish industry a vital post-Brexit connection, with congestion-free access to Rosslare Europort, and landbridge-free access to the continent of Europe. It will increase to up to thirteen the number of direct Rosslare Europort to Europe ro-ro sailings each way on a weekly basis across all routes in peak season, cementing Rosslare’s status as Ireland’s Gateway to Europe.
General Manager Glenn Carr said “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. We have engaged with Irish hauliers and their representatives, to understand their needs – particularly in the context of Brexit – and worked with shipping operators and ports in Europe to identify strong offerings for the sector.
The frequency we will now offer from Rosslare Europort will ensure a wide range of options to bypass the landbridge through Britain, with DFDS offering a 24-hour voyage time to such a prime location, less than three hours from Paris, and barely 20 minutes from the Belgian border. We welcome DFDS to Rosslare, and look forward to building an enduring partnership with them.”
Carr also thanked national and local Government and a range of stakeholders for their engagement. “The Department of Transport, including Minister Eamon Ryan, Minister Hildegarde Naughton and their officials have been hugely supportive of our ambitious plans to develop new routes from Rosslare Europort, and to develop our facilities and services to ensure that Irish business has Brexit-proof options for trade. The input of hauliers and representative bodies ensure we have the market understanding to secure new routes. We also know the ownership that our community in Co Wexford feel for Rosslare, and its importance to the region. Wexford County Council, its Chief Executive Tom Enright and his team, and all our local elected representatives have also given their full backing to our ambition.”
DFDS join existing shipping operators Stena Line, Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries at Rosslare Europort. The new service, which will provide a crucial freight route, will also be very attractive for inbound and outbound tourism when COVID travel restrictions are eased.
As well as new business such as DFDS’ forthcoming service and the arrival of Brittany Ferries earlier this year, Iarnród Éireann – Port Authority for Rosslare Europort – has recently secured planning permission for a major transformation of Rosslare Europort, as part of its Port Masterplan. The Masterplan, together with initiatives under the strategic plan for the port, will see over €30 million invested by Iarnród Éireann in Rosslare Europort over the next five years. It will ensure that Rosslare will be equipped with the capacity, facilities and technology to facilitate major growth for the benefit of the region and the wider national economy.
Major changes in the Europort will be:
- New configuration of the port aligned to maximise future growth of the port and support regional and national development
- Significant new facilities and infrastructure to develop Rosslare Europort to its full potential as Ireland’s gateway port to the UK and Europe
- Design and develop a Sustainable, Seamless and Smart Port that will be best in class internationally
The development under the Masterplan will be completed over a number of phases over a five year timeframe to enable the port continue to operate all services and activity during construction. Rosslare Europort is the closest port to the UK and mainland Europe and offers numerous daily/weekly direct Services to the UK, France and Spain.
As well as the port masterplan, further substantial investment will also take place both at the port and the surrounding area with the following further developments being completed during the same timeframe.
- Construction of the New N25 Rosslare Europort Access Road by TII and Wexford Co Council
- Development of the Rosslare Europort Business Park by the Dutch company XELLZ targeting the future Offshore Wind Market
- Delivery of the existing, and construction of the future permanent extensive facilities to meet all customs and Brexit requirements for state agencies at the Port, making Rosslare the only port outside of Dublin with the required Border Inspection Post.
The combined developments will see the largest ever investment in the port and surrounding area, and will position Rosslare Europort to become the leading gateway for the country to the UK and Europe.