Irish Maritime Development Office:

‘Brexit has significantly altered Irish-British freight traffic’

An Irish government agency reported on Thursday that the post-Brexit trade frictions "significantly changed" the volume of freight between Ireland and the UK and triggered a sharp increase in freight volumes to and from Ireland and other EU member states.

Since neighbouring Britain left the EU trade track on December 31, after inspections of some commodities, imports from the United Kingdom have decreased by 35% in the first five months of 2021, while the number of routes to the European continent has more than doubled.

According to the Irish Maritime Development Office, roll-on/roll-off traffic between Irish and British ports was 20% lower in the second quarter compared to the same pre-coronavirus pandemic period in 2019 while volumes on Irish/EU routes were up 99% on 2019.

Overall volumes were 0.2% lower than the second quarter of 2019. The most significant factor behind the changes was traders abandoning the British ‘land bridge’, that was once much quicker, where hauliers would take a short sea crossing between Dublin and Holyhead in Wales, drive across Britain and then take another ferry to mainland Europe.

According to, many hauliers are now shunning the route over concerns about delays and disruption due to new customs controls, the IMDO's quarterly report found.

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