An Irish government agency reported last Thursday that post-Brexit trade restrictions “significantly changed freight volumes between Ireland and the United Kingdom” and caused a sharp increase in freight volumes between Ireland and other EU member states.
Since a new era of trade relations with EU countries entered into for neighbouring Britain on 31 December 2020, inspections of some raw materials show that Irish imports from the UK fell by 35% in the first five months of 2021, while the number of routes to the European continent more than doubled.
According to the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO), roll-on/roll-off traffic between Irish and UK ports was 20% lower in the second quarter compared to the same pre-coronavirus period in 2019, while volumes on Irish/EU routes increased by 99% compared to the second quarter of 2019.
The total volume was 0.2% lower than in the second quarter of 2019. The main reason was that traders chose not to call on the British ‘land bridge’ any more. This was once much faster, as carriers first made the short crossing between Dublin and Holyhead (Wales) and then drove through Great Britain and then took another ferry to continental Europe.
Many carriers are now avoiding the route because they fear delays and disruptions due to new customs controls, according to IMDO’s quarterly report.