Multimodal operator Samskip has introduced a larger, faster ship on its Dublin-Amsterdam service, as well as introducing a call at the southern Ireland port of Waterford, reports The Loadstar, UK.
'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 at 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,' he added.
The service upgrade sees the introduction of the 750 TEU Edith, 'whose faster operating speed accommodates a call in Waterford after Dublin without any schedule disruption'.
Port of Waterford chief executive Frank Ronan said 'The addition of a shortsea connection to Amsterdam by one of our leading service partners demonstrates the growth opportunities that exist in both directions for direct links between Ireland and other EU markets.
The new call comes after news that Irish rail operator Iarnrod Eireann and XPO Logistics are to launch a twice-weekly unitised rail freight service between Ballina and Waterford next month, aiming to convert some 5,000 truck movements a year to rail.
Amsterdam's intermodal connections are also proving attractive to Irish exporters, said Mr Goumans.
'Samskip rail links between [Amsterdam terminal operator] TMA and Duisburg connect Irish importers and exporters to markets farther east. Adding Waterford brings new opportunities for Irish exports in the northern Netherlands, Germany, Poland and beyond,' he said.
In separate development, Belgian ro-ro operator CLdN said it was boosting capacity on its Rotterdam-Dublin and Zeebrugge-Dublin unaccompanied ro-ro services by some 25 per cent, 'in answer to surging demand', by adding sailings. Rotterdam-Dublin will go to five a week and Zeebrugge-Dublin to three.