A new twice-weekly freight service between the Port of Cork and Antwerp is to begin next month.
The Grimaldi Group will commence the direct, roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) service from the second week of May.
Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Cork said the new service will greatly support efforts to keep supply chains moving during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
"The new service will also further strengthen Cork’s direct links with the heart of Europe, capitalising on the market’s growing use of the unaccompanied freight model, as shippers seek direct links to market rather than use the UK landbridge," he said.
In February, Brittany Ferries began new direct freight-only sailings between Cork and Roscoff while a new Cork to Zeebrugge freight service also commenced this year.
Most freight travelling between Ireland and France transit via the UK, using ferry services across the Irish Sea and English Channel. However, since new post-Brexit trade rules were introduced increasing numbers of Irish and continental hauliers have been deterred from using this ‘landbridge’ due to increased customs checks and paperwork.
The Grimaldi Group has been calling to Cork regularly for almost 25 years for the transport of rolling freight and containers.
The Naples-based Group operates a fleet of over 130 Ro-Ro, Con-Ro, Ro-Pax, and cruise ferry vessels supported by investments in people, ports, terminals, and intermodal equipment worldwide new Irish service will link into the network at Antwerp.