UK loses out to Ireland as the Dover-Calais land bridge collapses

ROSSLARE PORT: Passengers and freight have increased post-Brexit Photo credit: CC/Benatzer Chieggi

BEFORE Brexit, goods between Ireland and EU entered via the Dover-Calais crossing.

Since then, the longer sea crossing between EU countries and Ireland has proved more viable and cheaper, avoiding the inconvenience of customs checks and bureaucratic delays.

Rosslare, Ireland’s closest port to mainland Europe, was previously underused but its six sailings a week to Cherbourg have now increased to more than 30, with record freight traffic to Le Havre, Bilbao, Dunkirk and Zeebrugge as well as Cherbourg.

“The Brits may be suffering from Brexit,” Yannick Millet, managing director of
Cherbourg port. “But for us, it’s boom time. Traffic with Ireland is through the roof,” he told the Guardian, declaring that the land bridge via Britain had been broken.

“There’s a real dynamic with Ireland, and authorities at both ends are working hard to foster it. Ireland’s passenger numbers have overtaken the UK, and freight has trebled,” he said.

“Brexit gave us an opportunity,” explained Glenn Carr, Rosslare port’s general manager. “Industry wanted stability in the supply chain. We adapted.”

Freight between Rosslare and Europe climbed from 36,000 units in 2019 to 125,000 in 2021, and 137,000 in 2022,. This has offset the fall in freight to and from Britain, which slumped from 104,000 units in 2019 to 65,000 in 2021 and 63,500 in 2022.

The surge in continental traffic has created more than 200 new jobs around Rosslare port and boosted the entire region, Carr said. “And the port is the engine driver for the south-east.”


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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at