Danish international shipping and logistics firm DFDS is setting up a new freight ferry route between Ireland and France, “to facilitate trade between Ireland and continental Europe.”
From January 2, 2021, the new freight ferry route between Rosslare in Ireland and Dunkirk in Northern France will offer trucks and their drivers direct and paperless transport between EU countries, avoiding the paperwork hassle that Brexit may bring.
The port of Dunkirk is a gateway to Ireland’s top export markets – France, Belgium, Germany, and Netherlands – and a host of secondary markets.
DFDS said that additional capacity has been chartered in order to deploy three combined freight and passenger ferries on the route to carry drivers along with their trucks and trailers.
“The new route thus offers a cost-efficient alternative to driving through the UK,” DFDS said.
“We are extremely pleased to offer Irish and other European businesses a cost-efficient way of trading directly with each other. There will be no customs formalities or possible waiting times that the Brexit transition potentially may bring about for trucks passing through the UK,” says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.
The company said that the deployment of three ferries ensures a competitive frequency with six weekly departures in each direction.
Each ferry has a capacity of up to 125 trucks and their drivers in Covid-19 safe single cabins. The crossing time is 24 hours.
Upon arrival in Dunkirk or Rosslare, truck drivers will be fully rested and immediately able to reach many major destinations within the legal driving limit, DFDS.
The route will initially not target passengers, although a passenger offering may be marketed at a later stage.
According to DFDS, the route is expected to reach revenues above DKK 300m in 2022. The route is jointly owned by DFDS and Irish interests. The managing director will be Aidan Coffey. The new route will be operated from offices in Rosslare, Cork, and Dunkirk.
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