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Shipping Disruptions Continue for Irish Exporters

When Brexit became a reality on January 1st, 2021, it was clear that the network of scheduled freight shipping services linking Irish Ports with British and Continental European Ports would change significantly.  

Months later, almost four out of 10 Irish businesses are still reporting increased fees and delays to their supply chain because of Brexit. It was predicted that by now, freight and shipping pricing levels would drop back down, and normality would return. This is far from happening – it now appears likely that the very high rates will apply well into 2022.  

shipping boat

What does this mean for Irish exporters?  

Increased Lead Times

Of the businesses surveyed during the first six months of 2021, 37% said they were experiencing longer lead times in supply chains from Brexit. As a result of this, some 22% of businesses reported needing to recruit an alternative global supplier. 21% reported recruiting an alternative supplier in Ireland. Some businesses (17%) had to outsource or recruit to deal with additional bureaucracy. 

Rail Freight

While ocean freight rates have soared, the costs of operation for the Asia/Europe container rail services have, if anything, dropped with Shipping Lines, Forwarders and some manufacturers chartering complete trains to move significant cargo volumes. The development of services from Ireland to ports such as Amsterdam and Dunkirk make accessing these rail services easier to do and the use of such systems is well worth exploring.

Air Freight

As long as the COVID-19 related travel restrictions remain in place throughout Europe and further afield, the process of normalizing the airfreight activity remains difficult. When passenger traffic does return it is likely to do so with airlines flying the more economical narrow-bodied aircraft rather than the widebodies previously used for longer flights. The freight capacity of the narrow-body aircraft is significantly less. It is unclear what the new air freight model will be, but it is likely that more freights will be transhipped by the specialist freight carriers via Continental European airports. Increasing numbers of exporters that have always used air freight as their route to market have been trialling the use of surface transport with, in many cases, good results in terms of the door-to-door transit time.

To read the full article, follow this link: https://irishexporters.ie/member_news/brexit-ripples-continue-to-spread-through-shipping-routes-and-services/

Exporting can be a difficult and lengthy process, and there are new risks involved with Brexit, but the potential payoffs are strong. To find out more about how HMC can help your export journey, contact us using the form below or email our Programme Manager, Croia Gallen at: croia.gallen@hmcglobal.co.uk

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