Peel Ports is urging cargo owners and hauliers to consider the Irish Sea model of unaccompanied freight and to use ports across the country to mitigate the effects of delays at Dover post-Brexit due to “growing realisation in the whole logistics community that we’re at a tipping point that will force traffic away from the Dover Straits,” said Peel Ports commercial director Stephen Carr.
Over 75% of all roll-on roll-off (RORO) freight from ports on the near continent passes through the Dover Straits and the market is around 4 million units. 99 per cent of this is accompanied unlike Irish Sea Freight of which 50 per cent is accompanied. The Irish model sees goods held as contingency stock at the port of entry, staying in the port for up to 48 hours. This approach would enable more thorough border checks without the pressure of completion during a short sea crossing or at a congested border point.
“Cargo owners and their supply chain providers typically need freight units to leave ports immediately on arrival or just 90 minutes after vessel departure from Calais. But there’s no certainty in the industry that this can be achieved reliably post Brexit,” and we “all know about the acute delays and problems that already exist at Dover when there’s the slightest disruption to normal operations,” said Carr,
“They need to take steps now to ensure they can deliver goods on time without incurring massive extra costs or compromising on quality. That is perfectly achievable by moving away from the fixation with Dover and by using unaccompanied trailers as many companies do already on the Irish Sea.”