Brittany Ferries has announced a new weekly freight service linking Le Havre in Normandy with Rosslare in Ireland. The route will be served by Cotentin, Brittany Ferries’ freight-only vessel and will commence on Friday 12th November 2021.
The schedule will see Cotentin leaving Le Havre on Friday evening, arriving in Rosslare on Saturday afternoon. Her return leg will depart Rosslare on Saturday evening, arriving in Le Havre on Sunday at 15:00.
The move follows a significant increase in demand for direct freight links connecting Ireland with France. Since the beginning of September Brittany Ferries has reported a 76 per cent increase in weekly freight carried, 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 chief executive officer. “Brexit has delivered more headaches than opportunities, particularly on routes serving the UK and France. However, the so-called Brexit by-pass, where freight operations avoid the UK completely, is one area that has worked to our advantage.”
Cotentin re-joined the Brittany Ferries fleet in January 2021. Built in 2007, she is 165 metres long with space for 120 freight units. She features 120 cabins and a range of amenities for drivers including a restaurant, bar and shop.
This new line will complement the Cherbourg – Rosslare maritime route, operated by Brittany Ferries with Connemara since the beginning of 2020.
Surging demand on services linking Ireland with France, mirrors a sharp rise in freight carried between Ireland and Spain.
The company is regularly carrying more than 1,000 freight units a month on its seaborne route connecting Rosslare with Bilbao. In the first eight months of the year, demand rose 70 percent compared with 2020 figures.
Ferry lanes linking Ireland with Spain were opened for the first time by Brittany Ferries in 2018. The Rosslare-Bilbao route has since become an important artery for hauliers and logistics operators.
The Rosslare Bilbao service operates twice weekly in each direction, with sailings from Rosslare on Wednesdays and Fridays, and from Bilbao on Thursdays and Sunday.