With the uncertainty of Brexit still clogging news feeds across the UK and Ireland, there has once again been some positive news for Dublin. This time in the mould of the Shipping Industry. There has been a marked increase in business as a result of Brexit as many companies are beginning to bypass British ports.

Although it has put some pressure on the shipping lanes and ports the news has been generally welcomed by those in Dublin and other regional ports.

Dublin port recently announced that Luxembourg based CLdN ro-ro shipping company has added two new Mega-vessels to its direct Dublin route from the ports fo Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.

A representative of CLdN said: “As a company, we have taken a long-term view on Dublin Port and invested accordingly. Our next generation of Ro-Ro vessels, MV Celine and now MV Laureline, are a testament to that commitment. Since entering the Dublin market mid-recession in 2009, we have grown our direct services from Dublin Port to some seven weekly calls to Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. We believe we are ideally positioned to develop this trade further as a direct alternative to the UK landbridge. Customers want certainty on consignments that can travel on direct routes, even if that means a slower journey time, and our newest addition Laureline is now in place to meet growing demand.” 

With such commitment from outside companies and expected investment and growth set to continue, Brexit uncertainty has certainly had mixed results fro Ireland. With the European landbridge becoming less important, Dublin port and other regional harbours are reaping the benefits of direct routes to mainland Europe.

The Landbridge is the transit point linking Ireland and mainland Europe. An estimated 3 million tonnes of goods move through the UK and the landbruidge each year. Currently, more than two and a half times that amount move on direct routes between Dublin and Europe.

This number is only expected to rise.

CEO of Dublin Port Eamonn O’Reilly said: “We’re starting to see alternatives developing, options over the landbridge as people grow concerned about the issue”.

“We’re starting to see faster-moving consumer goods which in the past would’ve been guaranteed access to the Irish market through the UK, we’re now seeing a switch, these goods are coming directly to Dublin from continental Europe.

“Those companies who don’t need to use the UK are beginning to avail of those options, and make sure they have established commercial relationships to be able to move goods no matter what happens with Brexit.

“The shipping industry can adapt very quickly, the one thing Brexit is not going to do, it’s not going to increase the number of goods flowing in and out of Britain.

“So if there are ships going in and out of Britain that doesn’t have enough business, they can easily run in and out of Dublin.

“The shipping industry can redeploy ships at very short notice to make up any shortfall, and respond to an increase in demand.

The port says the addition of the ClDN “super ferry” is a vote of confidence in Ireland’s port system.

Since the announcemtn of Brexit plans have been developed to deal with almsot every eventuality.

While politicians still mill over the particulars of Brexit, Industries have began moving forward.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “The arrival of Laureline at Dublin Port is further evidence of the shipping industry responding to market demand with Brexit upon us. It is a vote of confidence by CLdN in expanding its Dublin service so soon after the introduction of Celine and is mirrored by other significant customer investments such as Irish Ferries’ new ship W.B. Yeats servicing both freight and passenger demand between Dublin and Cherbourg.

While Teresa may and others have tried to dampen the impact of Brexit and the potential need for Customs checks, EU leaders have stated that there will need to be some mechanism put in place.

For this reason many companies have opted to bypass UK ports altogether. Although in the short term it might mean a reduction in the number of ships on the lane overall it will mean more business for Irish ports.

As we have seen already seen Brexit has had a mixed effect on Dublin. Although the long term implications are not yet known as Brexit still has not gone through, for the time being, it is looking positive for Dublin’s economy.

We have seen other recent reports about the exodus of financial businesses form London to Dublin and other European cities.