Brittany Ferries has announced it is introducing three new weekly freight-only services between Ireland and France this month.
The ferry company will see new sailings between St Marlo and Rosslare from 4 February onwards, in response to demands from both Irish and French hauliers seeking a more direct route.
Usually hauliers transporting goods between both countries have had to travel via the UK, however post-Brexit trade rules have resulted in alternative routes being arranged due to increased customs checks and paperwork.
Hugh Bruton, general manager of Brittany Ferries Ireland, said: “It’s clear that Brexit has distorted flows of trade between France and Ireland, there’s now clear and compelling demand both in Brittany and beyond to boost freight capacity direct from the region to Ireland.
“And Irish traders too are seeking direct links to Western France. We’re always listening to our haulier customers in order to best meet their needs and we look forward to restarting Brittany-Ireland services two months earlier than planned.”
Conor Mowlds, chief commercial officer for the Port of Cork, said: “The decision by Brittany Ferries to operate two freight only services from Cork to St Malo and Roscoff is hugely positive for Cork.
“Importers and exporters now have further transport options to get their freight direct to the EU and bypass the UK Land-Bridge. This announcement comes in the same month as we announced a second freight service from Cork to Zeebrugge.”
He added: “These direct freight services from Cork to the EU strengthen the region by offering more flexibility to Irish customers, ensuring supply chains are maintained.
“Our relationship with Brittany Ferries spans over 40 years and it continues to go from strength to strength.”