News detail

27th november 2020


As of 2 January 2021, DFDS will start a new daily ro-ro service, connecting the ports of Dunkerque and Rosslare (Republic of Ireland).

At the precise moment when the new regulations related to Brexit are being implemented for trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union, this new service provides a concrete solution to the organisation of flows of goods by road between the continent and the Republic of Ireland.

DFDS will now offer transport operators a genuine alternative to the current service to Ireland, essentially carried out in a "landbridge", consisting of two sea crossings and a route by road through the United Kingdom. In fact, the use this new service will be exempt from customs formalities and will avoid possible waiting times linked to the entry into force of the new procedures on British soil.

The Danish group DFDS, leader in the ro-ro sector in Europe, has been a major customer of the Port of Dunkerque for many years: in 2019, its three ships in the line between Dunkerque and Dover transported more than 580,000 heavy goods vehicles, 570,000 tourist vehicles and 2,300,000 passengers.

During the launch phase, the new service will be operated using three “ropax” vessels with a length of 180 meters, offering 6 weekly departures in each direction and a carrying capacity of 125 trucks and their drivers.

The 24-hour crossing will be open to all types of freight: heavy goods vehicles, unaccompanied trailers, containers, swap bodies and commercial vehicles.


Peder Gellert,Executive Vice-President and Director of the Ferry Division of DFDS,stated: " We are extremely pleased to be able to provide customers in the Republic of Ireland with the option of transporting their goods directly to or from other EU countries without the customs formalities and possible waiting times that the end of the Brexit transition period will cause for road transport passing through the UK”.

Kell Robdrup, Senior Vice President and Director of North Sea Freight Services at DFDS,added: " We are extremely grateful for the invaluable support we have received from the Port of Rosslare and the Port of Dunkerque. Their flexibility, professionalism and excellent cooperation have enabled us to be ready to provide this service before the end of the transition period. We are confident that it will benefit customers on both sides of the link”.

Daniel DESCHODT, Interim Chairman of the Executive Board of Dunkerque-Port, is delighted with the partnership: "This new direct route between the Republic of Ireland and France is excellent news for all those involved in transport between the Republic of Ireland and the European continent. It stands out for its innovative character, its particularly opportune timing, its daily frequency and the payload capacity set up from launch. DFDS has shown more than ever that it is an unwavering partner of the port of Dunkerque and we warmly thank them for doing so”.

Emmanuelle VERGER, Chair of the Supervisory Board of Dunkerque-Port, also welcomed the initiative: “This new service, which fits perfectly into the strategy of the European Union's transport corridors, is also consistent with the European Green Deal. The modal shift created by this new service in comparison with the “landbridge” solution offers real environmental and corporate benefits. At the end of an interview between HE Vincent Guérend, Ambassador of France to the Republic of Ireland and Mr. Simon Coveney, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ireland, the services of the Embassy of France in Ireland tweeted last 18 November: "As France will become Ireland's closest EU neighbour, the very deeply-rooted friendship between our two countries, our shared values, our common destiny in the EU pave the way for a unique relation. This new service is the perfect illustration".

Attached file
396_Lancement_RORO_irlande_EN - PDF (262.84 Kb)


Marie-Elizabeth Bogucki

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