Avoiding post-Brexit hassles leads to Ireland and rail

Image: portofamsterdam.comPort of Amsterdam

Since the Brexit, a shift of volumes has been observed to Ireland, and rail is taking the benefit. In Ireland as well as in Europe, seabound cargo is reaching the hinterland by train. And the volumes continue to increase, judging by the number of vessels going out.

A good example is the upgrade of the Amsterdam-Dublin container service by Samskip. The company started moving cargo with a larger, faster ship, which now also calls at Port of Waterford, a hub in the making for UK-Europe trade. On the other end, Amsterdam is playing this role.

“We have experienced strong uptake for the direct route into Amsterdam’s network of rail, road and barge connections to major EU markets”, said Thijs Goumans, Head of Ireland Trade, Samskip. “As anticipated, customers linking to Ireland have been eager to avoid the post-Brexit hassles of UK distribution. Waterford can expect the same seamless connections.”

Waterford as a hub

Iarnród Eireann and XPO Logistics have just announced to launch a new twice-weekly unitised rail freight service across Ireland to connect Ballina in Co Mayo and Port of Waterford from June. This link has the potential to switch over 5,000 truck movements a year to rail, in line with government decarbonisation plans.

“As the premier unitised facility in the south-east of Ireland, Waterford has capacity to handle more frequent direct lo-lo services into continental Europe, whether driven by local exports or rail freight containers moving across country”, CEO of Port of Waterford Frank Ronan said.


The port of Duisburg had already established a reliable railway connection that now proves to have additional value. In August last year, a new direct rail freight service between Duisburg and Amsterdam was opened by Nunner Logistics, Samskip, TMA Terminal and the port of Amsterdam. With the direct rail link to Amsterdam, another link was established between China and the Netherlands.

This link now proves useful for the Irish market too. “Samskip rail links between TMA and Duisburg connect Irish importers and exporters to markets farther east,” he said. “Adding Waterford brings new opportunities for Irish exports in the northern Netherlands, Germany, Poland and beyond”, commented said Thijs Goumans, head of Ireland trade at Samskip.

Rotterdam also linked

In addition to the link to Amsterdam, Samskip operates a link to Rotterdam. Both are connecting Irish importers and exporters to markets farther east. With the addition of Waterford, new opportunities have arisen for Irish exports in the northern Netherlands, Germany, Poland and beyond. Goumans concluded.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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