The Port of Cork and Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Navigation (CLdN) have announced a new weekly RoRo freight service between Cork, Ireland and the Port of Zeebrugge, in Belgium.
The Port of Zeebrugge, Europe’s largest Ro-Ro handling port, is within 550 kilometres of 60% of the EU’s purchasing power. More than 200 global ports have direct links with Zeebrugge, and Irish access to it will further strengthen the Port of Cork’s role as southern Ireland’s gateway to the world.
The new service, which began operations on April 24th, is part of a significant expansion by CLdN which will enhance the resiliency of Ireland’s supply chain and facilitate the expansion of trade between Ireland and the continent. This direct freight link with Europe also reinforces the Port of Cork’s commitment to supporting businesses in the region and preparing for any eventuality Brexit may still bring.
CEO of Port of Cork, Brendan Keating, said: “This announcement by CLdN will greatly support our efforts in the Port of Cork to keep supply chains moving during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The Port has been actively looking at ways to bolster its freight activity and is delighted to partner with a company that enjoys such a great reputation in the shipping industry. Introducing this new connectivity to Zeebrugge not only helps Port of Cork to protect supply chains during the current crisis, but also adds a direct freight-only link with the heart of Europe.”
The new freight service will leave Zeebrugge every Friday to arrive in Cork on Sunday. It will return on Tuesday arriving in Zeebrugge again every Thursday. The trade of essential goods will be facilitated by a fleet of modern, environmentally-friendly vessels that offer high freight capacities.
A spokesperson for CLdN commented: “The expansion of our Irish service proves once again that CLdN will keep supply chains running even in the most challenging circumstances, and that we can act swiftly to provide a reliable and environmentally friendly RoRo service. This new route has been driven by customer and market demand, and we are convinced – even at this unprecedented time – that Ireland’s famous exporters will once again show their Celtic spirit and make this new route a success.”
About Port of Cork
The Port of Cork is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of just two Irish ports which service the requirements of all shipping modes. The Port of Cork also controls Bantry Bay Port Company and employs 150 people across all locations. A European Designated Core Port and a Tier 1 Port of National Significance, Port of Cork’s reputation for quality service, including prompt and efficient vessel turnaround as well as the company’s investment in future growth, ensures its position as a vital link in the global supply chain.
The port has made impressive strides in recent decades, most recently with the construction of the new €80m Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy which will facilitate the natural progression of the move from a river port to a deepwater port in order to future proof the Port of Cork. This state-of-the-art terminal which will open in 2020 will be capable of berthing the largest container ships currently calling to Ireland.
European short Sea Ro-Ro specialist CLdN Ro-Ro SA, who operate 30 modern Ro-Ro vessels, offering in excess of 130 sailings per week between the ports of Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, London, Killingholme, Dublin, Gothenburg, Esbjerg, Santander and Porto.
CLdN’s core services have traditionally been the Continent / UK, which commenced in December 1974, have steadily expanded their geographical presence into new markets, including Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal and Spain in recent years.
CLdN currently handle on an annual basis, in excess of 1 million cargo units and 1 million new cars and vans and following an investment in larger vessels and ports, current trades can be expanded and new routes developed.
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