#SeaRailFreight- A new container rail-freight service between Waterford Port and Ballina began operating this week, to link in with DFDS Logistics sailing schedules to and from Europe.
The container trains are running to a twice weekly service in each direction linking the Belview Port terminal downriver of Waterford City and the northern Co. Mayo town.
According to Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann), the new service will benefit customers in the west and north-west of Ireland in particular, providing them with a cost effective alternative when compared with a road based shipping. Coupled with this, the customer also reduces their carbon footprint.
The trains are scheduled to meet DFDS lo-lo vessels sailing from Belview Port to Rotterdam, which allows for onward delivery into Europe. Customers can now load in the west of Ireland on Tuesday morning and deliver in The Netherlands on Thursday pm/Friday am.
Rotterdam also provides access to DFDS sailings to Norway, and rail connections to Italy, allowing for a rail-sea-rail connection from Ballina to Milan.
DFDS will utilise a significant amount of available rail-wagons, but have left scope to develop the service further by introducing new customers, both internal Irish traffic and import / export traffic.
This is an important addition to the DFDS services in Ireland, and as a customer for Irish Rail's freight division. The new service is covering a longer distance, guaranteed volumes and direct port access.
The introduction of the service will see freight volumes increase from 91m tonne kilometres in 2012 to 105 m tonne kilometres approximately in 2013.