Feature, Freight News, Sea, Road

It’s time to go it alone, Peel Ports tells Irish Sea hauliers

[ February 17, 2022   //   ]

More hauliers are choosing unaccompanied cargo on Irish Sea routes into Northern England, says Liverpool port director, Phil Hall.

Recent market data and analysis by Liverpool’s owner, Peel Ports Group shows that accompanied traffic into North Wales and the unaccompanied alternatives into other ports in North West England have equalised in recent months.

Phil Hall (pictured below) says that the unescorted journey for ro ro cargo provides a range of benefits, particularly with the next phase of Brexit transition looming in the summer.

He says: “From July this year, all goods will undergo far stricter checks and face potential disruption in order to comply with additional customs regulations. This is likely to have a direct impact on services from Dublin and Northern Ireland for many months to come.”

He points out that while the unaccompanied option represents a longer sea journey into ports such as Liverpool or Heysham (also owned by Peel Ports), this provides an opportunity for all paperwork and customs checks to take place so the goods can arrive ready to discharge.

This could avoid the need for designated Border Control Post checks at the port of entry, which could potentially lead to far longer delays.

During the past year, Mr Hall says that major retailers have complained about having to employ more personnel to support additional checks of products travelling between Britain and the island of Ireland.

The unescorted option also helps address driver shortages and can be particularly useful for commodities for which shelf life is not an issue such as aggregates, construction materials or ambient foods.

There are probable cost savings to consider too, by avoiding the need for drivers to board ferry services and even the potential to hook onto rail for the onward journey of goods.

Reducing road miles also brings obvious carbon emission reduction benefits.