The massive growth in activity in Rosslare Europort continued in early November 2021 when Brittany Ferries announced the launch of a new weekly freight service to Le Havre.

The new route is to be served by the freight vessel Contentin and will begin operating on 12 November 2021.

Cotentin will leaving Le Havre on Friday evening, arrive in Rosslare on Saturday afternoon. Her return leg will depart Rosslare on Saturday evening, eaching in Le Havre on Sunday at 1500.

Brittany Ferries said that their decision to put the new route to Le Havre in place was as a direct result of increasing demand for links from Ireland to France.

Since the beginning of September, Brittany have reported a 76 per cent increase in weekly freight carried when compared with the first eight months of the year.

“Thanks to flexibility in our fleet and agility in our operations, we have been able to move quickly to meet growing demand,” said Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries CEO.

“Brexit has delivered more headaches than opportunities, particularly on routes serving the UK and France. However, the so-called Brexit bypass, where freight operations avoid the UK completely, is one area that has worked to our advantage.”

Cotentin rejoined the Brittany Ferries fleet in January 2021. Built in 2007, the 165m ferry has capacity for 120 freight units, features 120 cabins and a range of amenities for drivers including a restaurant, bar and shop.

This new route will complement the Cherbourg-Rosslare route, operated by Brittany Ferries using the ro-pax vessel Connemara since the beginning of 2020.

Jean-Marc Roué, Brittany Ferries’ president said: “This new route between Le Havre and Rosslare is an important step. The biggest French port should have its own freight link to Ireland.

“In almost a year, the number of freight vehicles transported by sea from Ireland has tripled. I have no doubt that the imposition of control measures on the UK-Ireland landbridge at the beginning of 2022 will further strengthen this appetite for the sea alternative, and that this Le Havre/Rosslare route has a bright future.”

Brittany also operate a service from Rosslare to Bilbao in Spain and they state that they are regularly carrying more than 1,000 freight units, with demand continuing to rise, seeing a 70 per cent increase in the first eight months of this year when compared to 2020 figures.

Photo by George Holland 

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