Brittany upgrades Ireland-France service

[ February 2, 2021   //   ]

Brittany Ferries is to open new freight routes between Ireland and France, connecting Roscoff and St Malo in Brittany with Cork and Rosslare in Ireland, starting in early February using the ro-pax vessel Armorique.

The introduction of a Cork freight service makes Brittany a major presence in Cork once again as what was originally a Cork-Santander service launched in 2018 became the Rosslare/Bilbao route about a year ago.

The new sailings are in response to demands from both Irish and French hauliers seeking a more direct route, avoiding transit via the UK which has become problematical since new post-Brexit trade rules were introduced on 1 January due to increased customs checks and paperwork.

Port of Cork chief commercial officer, Conor Mowlds, 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. 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. We wish them every success with this freight service.”

General manager, Brittany Ferries Ireland, Hugh Bruton, commented: “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.”

Together with the extra weekly Rosslare to Cherbourg round trip, Brittany Ferries will offer hauliers a choice of eight sailings a week in each direction between Ireland and France, plus four to or from northern Spain.

The extra sailings will operate initially until 21 March when regular Roscoff/Cork sailings are scheduled to resume.