A new ferry service between Ireland and France has been announced which will offer “lorries and their drivers direct and paperless transport between EU countries”.

On January 2, 2021, Danish international shipping and logistics firm DFDS will commence sailings on a new freight ferry route between Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland and Dunkerque (also spelt Dunkirk) in northern France.

The route will be serviced by three ferries, each with a capacity for up to 125 lorries and their drivers in Covid-19 safe single cabins.

There will be six weekly departures from each port, either in the afternoon or evening, with a crossing time of 24 hours.

This will bring the number of direct sailings between Rosslare and Europe up to 13 every week during peak times.

Commenting on the new route, Peder Gellert, European vice-president and head of DFDS’ Ferry Division, said:

“We are extremely pleased to offer customers in the Republic of Ireland the opportunity to transport their goods directly to or from other EU countries without the customs formalities and possible waiting times that the end of the Brexit transition period will bring about for road haulage passing through the UK.”

According to DFDS, the sea voyage will reduce the dependency on the UK land bridge and open direct opportunities for trade within EU’s single market.

The new line will create jobs and activities in Rosslare and Cork, where DFDS will be represented by new offices, and in Dunkerque.

In Ireland, the route will be led by Aidan Coffey as route director, Darren Mooney as sales and customer service director and Declan Cleary as freight sales manager Ireland.

Kell Robdrup, senior vice-president and head of DFDS’ North Sea freight services, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support we have experienced from the Port of Rosslare and the Port of Dunkerque.

“Their flexibility, professionalism and our excellent cooperation has enabled us to be ready with this service before the end of the transition period at the end of the year. We are confident that this service will benefit customers on both sides of the route,” the official concluded.