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13.11 16 Jan 2021


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Ferry operator Stena Line has announced a new sailing route from Dublin to Cherbourg in France.

The once-weekly route, which will begin next Saturday, aims to give hauliers an additional option to bypass Britain following Brexit.

The company says there has been a change to the flow of freight on the Irish Sea, with its services to Holyhead down around 60% in the first two weeks of this year.

Meanwhile, a Brittany Ferries sailings connecting Rosslare and Cherbourg will begin on Monday, two months earlier than originally planned.

It comes as around a quarter of hauliers arriving into Dublin Port from the UK are believed to be experiencing problems at customs checks.

There are reports the new Brexit requirements are resulting in food consignments getting blocked in UK warehouses or stopped at Irish ports.

The Road Haulage Association says it has led to some deliveries having to be dumped and empty supermarket shelves.

Lorcan Allen, Agribusiness Editor at the Irish Farmers Journal, says there's major confusion concerning checks on food of animal and plant origin.

He told Down to Business with Bobby Kerr that the situation could potentially get worse before it gets better.

New ferry route from Dublin to France announced amid complaints from hauliers over customs checks

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"The volumes of trade coming in in the first two weeks of January have been very low and that's because the food industry knew that this was coming," he said.

"I think in the coming weeks you're going to see a ramping up of volumes back to more normal levels of trade as companies are getting better but there's still lots of issues there and I think there could be holdups in the ports in the coming weeks."

However, speaking on the same programme, Declan Ralph of BWG Foods, the company behind Spar and Mace, says they are not experiencing any Brexit-related issues.

He explained: "Our supply chains are robust and there are no shortages as of now so long may that continue.

"There are a lot of products that are only made in the UK and everything that comes into Ireland comes from the UK but most of those very large companies are well organised."

Main image: Freight cargo cranes in Dublin Port. Credit: Sasko Lazarov/ RollingNews.ie

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