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Rosslare Europort has announced two major milestones in the Co Wexford port’s progress towards becoming Ireland’s 'Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Hub'.

The Port Authority Iarnród Éireann today formally applied to the new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) for Marine Area Consent (MAC).

Additionally, it was announced that the contract for the design of an ORE hub at the port was awarded to Nicholas O'Dwyer (NOD) and partners Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions Consultants (GDG), renowned for their expertise and specialisation in civil engineering and marine projects.

Rosslare Europort envisions becoming the) (ORE) hub to service Ireland and Europe's wider emerging offshore wind industry.

The initiative from Rosslare Europort aligns with the government's ambitious offshore wind targets, which include the delivery of 5 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030 and an additional 2GW of capacity for non-grid uses to be in development by 2030. With an estimated completion cost of circa €200 million, the proposed plans for the ORE hub can potentially revolutionise the Southeast Region's economy through new local industry, supply-chain development and job creation.

Today’s two milestones follow the recent granting of a foreshore licence from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, which has facilitated the commencement of an extensive programme of site investigation works at the port are getting underway.

The successful design team will lead the development of a comprehensive design and progress the various planning and statutory consenting applications. The design will encompass key engineering elements, including quay walls, piling, breakwaters, surfacing, services, a new small boat harbour and ancillary facilities, while the planning and consenting elements include obtaining a Marine Area Consent from MARA and preparation and submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Appropriate Assessment and planning application to An Bord Pleanála.

Key project elements of the proposed development include:

  • Minimum circa 20 hectares of land reclamation
  • A 330m long heavy lift berth to accommodate ORE installation vessels
  • A 240m long Roll-On Roll-Off berth to facilitate component delivery
  • Dredging approach channel to an effective depth of -10m Chart Datum with a declared depth of -9mCD
  • Main berth pocket for Staging and Installation vessels with dredged depth of -12mCD with a declared depth of -11mCD
  • Small boat harbour with enhanced access from deeper water
  • Operations & Maintenance facilities to include warehousing, offices and car parking
  • Access facilities to accommodate potential future rail spur connection to site.
  • New access road to small craft harbour and site access to the ORE facility

At the contract announcement, Glenn Carr, Director of Commercial Business Units for Iarnród Éireann, Port Authority of Rosslare Europort, expressed the significance of the proposed project, stating, "The Irish Government has been accelerating policy on renewable offshore wind energy. Just last month, Minister Eamon Ryan announced the publication of an 'indicative roadmap' outlining a timetable towards Ireland's next offshore wind energy auction – ORESS 2.1, which will take place off Ireland's south coast and procure up to 900MW of offshore wind."

Glenn Carr, Director of Commercial Business Units for Iarnród Éireann, Port Authority of Rosslare EuroportGlenn Carr, Director of Commercial Business Units for Iarnród Éireann, Port Authority of Rosslare Europort

Carr added: "The development of the Rosslare Europort ORE hub is critical to support ORESS 1 (Ireland’s first offshore wind auction) and ORESS 2.1 and all future auctions. The delivery of this vital port infrastructure required a specialist team of leading engineers with a strong track record in specialist marine projects. We are delighted to have the combined engineering expertise of Gavin and Doherty and Nicholas O'Dwyer onboard."

Jim Oliver, Managing Director of Nicholas O'Dwyer an RSK company, conveyed his delight for the project, "We are honoured to have been selected for a project of such importance in advancing Ireland's ambitious pursuit of its 2030 renewable energy goals. The visionary approach demonstrated by the Rosslare Europort team is truly commendable, reflecting a strategic foresight that will undoubtedly play a critical role in supporting the growth of Ireland's offshore wind farms and positioning Rosslare Europort to efficiently serve European projects as well."

Paul Doherty, the Director and founder of Gavin and Doherty, emphasised, "GDG has an impressive track record in successfully delivering offshore wind projects worldwide. This particular project exemplifies the extensive capabilities and expertise that GDG brings to our clients. It underscores the global presence of both GDG and our parent company the Venterra Group. Our Ports and Harbour and Marine Advisory teams, both based in Ireland, specialise in marine engineering and environmental consenting, and can draw on the collective knowledge of our engineering expertise across our global group companies when required. Strengthening our longstanding collaboration with Iarnród Éireann, as demonstrated by projects like the Rosslare Europort ORE hub, our team is eager to continue partnering with clients to implement critical infrastructure to support Ireland and global ambitions within the offshore renewable wind energy sector.”

Rosslare Europort's strategic location, whilst within proximity of planned developments in Irish and UK waters, also positions it as a critical player in servicing offshore projects throughout Europe. The port aims to facilitate the various stages of offshore wind projects, from assembly and staging to ongoing operation and maintenance and future decommissioning.

In the preliminary design phase, this transformative project is set to progress to public consultation in 2024. Following participatory engagement with the public and wider stakeholders, the project design will be finalised, with a planning application intended for submission to An Bord Pleanála in 2024. Construction is scheduled for 2025/26, with project completion anticipated in 2027.

Published in Rosslare Europort
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The Department of Transport has been advised that Iarnród Éireann intends to undertake a metocean survey and static acoustic monitoring in the proposed offshore renewable energy hub development area surrounding the existing Rosslare Europort, off the coast of Co Wexford.

The metocean survey will involve the deployment of two 1.2m wave buoys. This survey is expected to be completed between this Tuesday 5 December and 5 March next year, subject to operational and weather constraints.

Meanwhile, the static acoustic monitoring will involve the deployment of two stations with moorings and surface marker buoys. This work is anticipated to take place over the course of a year from this Tuesday 5 December, subject to operational and weather constraints, with recovery and redeployment at intervals of four months.

Works will be confined to the proposed Rosslare Europort development area, which is detailed in the appendix to Marine Notice No 79 of 2023, attached below.

The works will be conducted by the tug vessel Taktow (callsign SPG5268). As the vessel will be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre during operations, it is requested that all other passing vessels leave a wide berth.

Work activities will be carried out between 7am and 7pm on the deployment and recovery days. The vessel will liaise with Rosslare Europort Harbour to ensure that the scheduled movements of regular ferry traffic to and from the port will be unaffected.

Mariners are advised to keep continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 when navigating the area. For communication between vessels, VHF radios will be employed using a designated working channel (to be agreed with Rosslare Harbour on arrival to works area). In addition to this, each vessel will have a second VHF attuned to the local harbour operations channel (VHF Channel 12).

For more information, including contact details, see the Marine Notice attached below.

Published in Rosslare Europort
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Construction work to upgrade Rosslare Europort Terminal 7 has been welcomed as “critically important “ by the Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) Patrick O’Donovan.

As Afloat reported earlier, John Paul Construction was awarded the contract to provide permanent Brexit infrastructure at Rosslare Europort.

This will ensure compliance with EU Customs, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and official food controls legislation, protecting the EU single market, the OPW says.

“The size of this project is vast – 28 new permanent buildings – and will provide the permanent infrastructure required for a new border control post and improved processing facilities at one of our largest and busiest ports in the country,” O’Donovan said.

Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan on site at Rosslare Europort Photo: Mary BrowneMinister of State Patrick O’Donovan on site at Rosslare Europort Photo: Mary Browne

“The OPW has worked very closely with all State agencies and the Port Authority, Iarnród Éireann, to bring this project to this important milestone,” he said.

“Rosslare Europort continues to operate as a live operational port, and the OPW, together with main contractor John Paul Construction, are working closely and collaboratively with the port authorities to ensure that this immense construction project will proceed in tandem with the busy operations of Rosslare,” he said.

John Paul Construction managing director Liam Kenny said it was “not just a significant project” for his company, but also “for Ireland as a whole, given the role the upgraded port will play in a post-Brexit euro economy”.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the OPW, the port authorities, and our local supply chain to deliver this nationally and regionally important infrastructure project,” he said.

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The Department of Transport has been advised by Iarnród Éireann that it intends to undertake a marine benthic ecology survey, geophysical survey and intrusive ground investigation on the proposed offshore renewable energy hub development area surrounding the existing Rosslare Europort, off the coast of Co Wexford.

These site investigation works is expected to be undertaken between this Thursday 5 October and 5 January next year, subject to weather and operational constraints.

The geophysical survey work will involve the deployment of hull-mounted (multibeam echo sounder and high-frequency sub-bottom profiler) and towed geophysical sensors (side-scan sonar, magnetometer and medium-frequency sub-bottom profiler) from a survey vessel. These survey works are anticipated to take place between 5-11 October, subject to weather and operational constraints.

The marine benthic and ecology surveys will involve up to 80nr drop-frame camera survey and, where suitable, grab samples will be obtained. The marine benthic ecology surveys are expected to be completed between this Saturday 7 October and 5 January next year.

The intrusive ground investigation will involve up to 40nr over-water nearshore marine boreholes, up to 40nr over-water nearshore marine cone penetration tests with pore water measurement and up to 60nr over-water nearshore marine gravity corers (vibrocores) carried out from a jack-up barge.

The site investigation shall also comprise relevant in-situ testing. These works are expected to be completed between 30 October and 5 January, subject to weather and operational constraints.

For further details of the survey vessels, relevant maps, coordinates and contact information, see Marine Notice No 66 of 2023 attached below.

Published in Rosslare Europort

Rosslare Europort says it has “reached a significant milestone” in developing its offshore renewable energy (ORE) hub with approval of a draft foreshore license for final site investigations.

It says it “paves the way for its planning application to be submitted in time” to ensure an operational offshore renewable hub is operational to “meet the needs of the successful bidders in the Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS-1) auctions”.

Four offshore wind energy developments were successful in the State’s first ORESS auction, the results of which were released by Eirgrid on May 11th.

Rosslare Europort says its hub “will be the first of its kind in a port within the Republic of Ireland”.

“Representing a €220M investment, this world-class facility will provide the ORE industry with the necessary port infrastructure to support the many wind farm projects planned for the Irish and Celtic Seas,” it said in a statement.

“The huge economic benefits that this sector can bring to Ireland have yet to be fully realised,” it said.

“ There is enough renewable energy off our coasts to not only meet Ireland’s needs but also to become a major contributor to decarbonising Europe’s energy supply. Aligned with this, Ireland must invest heavily in its port infrastructure and supporting facilities to be in a position to deliver these major renewable infrastructure projects,” it said.

Ports are a central part of offshore wind development. They play a vital role in local supply chains, logistics, and supporting infrastructure as major components, equipment, and wind turbines all need to be facilitated with port side staging, marshalling and assembly activities.

Rosslare Europort director of commercial business units Glenn Carr, who is employed by Iarnród Éireann, its port authority, congratulated “all of those involved in Ireland’s first offshore wind auction”.

Rosslare Europort director of commercial business units Glenn CarrRosslare Europort director of commercial business units Glenn Carr

“The four successful wind farms can progress their projects in the knowledge that by the time construction commences, Rosslare Europort will have progressed our current plans to establish a dedicated offshore renewables hub,” he said.

We have already advanced our development plans for major infrastructure upgrades at Rosslare Europort to ensure that we are in a position to support these phase one projects with the construction of their offshore assets,” Carr said.

Rosslare Europort’s ORE plan includes establishing deep-water berths, heavy lift quays and lay-down areas to facilitate turbines and major components. It said last year that the hub investment had the “potential to create up to 2,000 jobs”

Published in Rosslare Europort
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The ESB and Rosslare’s port authority, Iarnród Éireann, have signed a joint agreement to co-operate on offshore wind development in the Celtic and Irish Seas.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) draws on ESB’s plans to develop a “portfolio” of offshore wind farms, while Rosslare Europort aims to establish the port as Ireland’s offshore renewables hub.

The MOU “establishes a common goal of maximising the opportunities of each parties’ respective development plans”, they state.

The MOU is “non-exclusive”, and sets out the two organisations’ intention to “work together with the aim of developing a port solution capable of supporting ESB’s offshore developments in Ireland, in line with the country’s climate action targets and ESB’s Net Zero by 2040 strategy”, they say.

Last year, Rosslare Europort management announced plans to establish the port, its hinterland and the southeast region as an Irish offshore renewable energy (ORE) Hub, with the potential to create up to 2,000 jobs.

The partners state that the port is uniquely located within 60-100 nautical miles of most of the planned developments in the Irish and Celtic seas, including many of the projects developed by ESB within Ireland.

Rosslare Europort plans significant works, including:

  • ORE purpose-built quay and berth
  • ORE quayside storage and pre-construction / up to 50 acres in area
  • Navigable channel dredged down to a minimum of 9-11 metres depth
  • Management Control Centre & management offices and facilities for Operations and Maintenance

Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers said: “Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) is integral to meeting Ireland’s climate change ambitions with a target of achieving 7GW of offshore energy by 2030, 2GW of which is dedicated to the production of green hydrogen”.

"As set out in a policy statement published in December 2021, a multiport approach to the provision of port infrastructure will facilitate the development of ORE in Ireland, which will help maximise the economic benefits at regional as well as national level in terms of the creation of jobs and new SME enterprise that can support the development of the ORE industry,” he said.

"This agreement between Rosslare Europort and ESB is a welcome demonstration of the collaboration and commitment by these two commercial entities in delivering on our ORE ambition,” he said.

Published in Power From the Sea
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Rosslare Europort has announced a 200 million euro investment plan to establish an offshore renewable energy (ORE) hub with potential creation of 2,000 jobs.

A total of 350 million euro will be invested with implementation of a Rosslare Europort masterplan, establishment of a permanent border control post and provision of a new access road, according to the port’s management.

The initiatives will be outlined at a seminar in Rosslare today, Friday April 22nd, attended by Minister of State for Justice James Browne, Iarnród Éireann chief executive Jim Meade and Rosslare Europort general manager Glenn Carr.

Rosslare Europort “made history” in 2021 when it became Ireland’s leading port for direct RoRO/Pax services to Europe, management said.

“The national Climate Action Plan targets five gigawatts from ORE by the end of 2030, and Rosslare has unmatchable advantages to support this, and act as a new sustainable hub for the south-east,”it says.

The port is “uniquely located within 60 nautical miles of most of the planned [ORE] developments in the Irish and Celtic seas”, it says.

Key requirements such as marshalling, assembly, staging and load out of key components, ongoing operations, maintenance and crew transfers can be provided for from Rosslare,it says.

Rosslare Europort management says it has the “support of national and local government, industry and tourism, including the notable support of Port of Waterford”.

The masterplan for the port includes digitalisation of systems and operations, provision of new freight and passenger facilities, storage, export and import facilities, and a berth extension.

The Office of Public Works also plans to develop a permanent border control post within the port, while Transport Infrastructure Ireland is planning a new N25 Rosslare Europort access road.

It says expert ORE consultants have been appointed to “bring the project to planning”, while financial consultants have been appointed to “develop the detailed business case and funding options”.

It says an application is being submitted to the EU Connecting Europe facility for 50% co-funding for the studies and designs for planning.

“Rosslare Europort has been to the forefront of our national response to some of the most critical issues we have faced in recent times,” Meade said.

“Working with State agencies, Rosslare prepared for and responded to Brexit, transforming our direct connections to the continent of Europe,” he said.

“In recent weeks, we have ensured the rapid and successful establishment of reception facilities for Ukrainian refugees arriving to our shores. Now, as we face the urgent need for decarbonisation and to ensure energy security, the board and management of Iarnród Éireann fully supports the ambitions of Rosslare Europort to be Ireland’s ORE hub,” he said.

Rosslare Europort general manager Glenn Carr said “we have engaged extensively at European, national and regional level to understand the needs of the ORE industry”.

“It is clear that not only is Rosslare Europort uniquely placed to support the development of the industry, but that this development can be a transformative one for the south-east region,” he said.

Carr said the south-east “can be to offshore renewables what Dublin’s Silicon docks are to the tech sector”.

Published in Rosslare Europort
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Iarnród Éireann has said Rosslare Europort has made history as Ireland’s leading port for direct European freight.

The Co Wexford port recorded its highest ever activity with a 371 per cent increase in European freight last year and overall volumes up 50 per cent.

“Despite the challenges of both Covid-19 and Brexit, the history-making year saw over 184,891 RoRo freight units through the port in 2021,” Iarnród Éireann, the national railway operator which runs Rosslare, says.

“With 30 direct services now operating weekly between Rosslare and Europe, there was an increase of 94,477 freight units (+371%) on European direct routes in 2021 with 119,927 units carried,” it says.

It says that routes to and from Britain which have 56 services a week saw a decrease of -32,926 of freight units (-34%) and remain “challenging” as the implications, additional cost and time of Brexit are embedded into the supply chain.

"30 direct services now operating weekly between Rosslare & Europe"

“Overall combined freight at the port grew by 50%, representing the highest yearly growth in the port’s history and demonstrating the national importance of Rosslare Europort as a key connection for freight and passenger services to the UK and Europe,” it says.

Passenger volumes at the port, while suppressed over the past two years as a result of Covid-19, also grew significantly with 243,303 passengers (+68% increase) travelling through the port in 2021, Iarnród Éireann says.

“It’s been a really tremendous performance by Rosslare Europort in 2021 and I am delighted that the plans we put in place over the last few years are yielding such positive results,” Rosslare Europort’s general manager Glenn Carr has said.

“It’s a great credit to all the colleagues who work at the port, our shipping partners, stakeholders and of course our customers who have helped in the positive transformation that we are now seeing,”he said.

“As major ports such as Dublin grapple with future constraints and congestion, Rosslare Europort will be further developed to help alleviate these challenges and offer real viable, efficient and sustainable alternative services and connectivity for the greater good of the wider economy,” he said.

“Our plans have been strongly endorsed and supported by the Iarnród Éireann Board which has enabled significant investment in infrastructure, services and resources. This will ensure the development of Rosslare Europort as a key generator of economic activity for the region and country,” he said.

The “most significant investment ever” is due to be translated into digitalisation of the port, new infrastructure for customs and border control, and initiation of work on securing planning for an offshore renewable energy facility (Project REORE) at Rosslare from 2025, he noted.

Rosslare Europort Freight and Passenger Volumes 2021 v 2020

Rosslare Europort Freight and Passenger Volumes 2021 v 2020

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Rosslare just breathes the atmosphere of the sea.

Next month Rosslare Europort will hit a new record – a total of 36 shipping services a week operating from the port, which, its General Manager tells me, will make it the premier Irish port serving the European Continent.

Every time I drive into the County Wexford port, its coastal location gives me a lift of maritime enthusiasm. There is something special about moving along the road that is like a ribbon leading to the use of a ship and crossing the sea.

You pass the maritime museum; this is the Rosslare Harbour Maritime Heritage Centre, closed like so many other museums at present due to the pandemic. It has unique collections telling the maritime history of Rosslare Harbour.
There is a lovely beach, and there is the lifeboat station.

Lifeboat crew examine the remains of the sandpit village exposed in 2015 at Rosslare. Photo: Rosslare Maritime Heritage Centre FacebookLifeboat crew examine the remains of the sandpit village exposed in 2015 at Rosslare. Photo: Rosslare Maritime Heritage Centre Facebook

There was once a tiny village at Rosslare Point on the extremity of what was known as the Sandpit.

A November storm in 1924 breached that area, and the town, connected by a long strip of beach to Rosslare, was abandoned. An original lifeboat station was also located there and had to be moved. In January of 2015, the remains of that village were uncovered in another storm. The above photo from Wexford Lifeboat on the Maritime Heritage Centre Facebook Page shows lifeboat crew examining the remains. Rosslare also ran what it described as "the most prestigious sea angling boat competition in Europe," which earned €300,000 for the local Wexford economy in the off-peak tourist season. I also remember the active Rosslare Harbour Small Boats & Inshore Fishermen's Association.

The ferry port has seen seeing notable changes over the past few months. Come next month it will have 36 shipping services a week.

Rosslare Europort is scheduled to have 36 shipping services a week from April 2021Rosslare Europort is scheduled to have 36 shipping services a week from April 2021

The last time I talked to Glenn Carr, General Manager of Rosslare Europort, was about the five-year plan costing some €35m to develop the port. He predicted then the changes which Brexit would bring and was confident of Rosslare's response. How right he was. He is entitled to be well pleased with its progress and is looking forward positively to the future and passengers' return.

Glenn Carr, General Manager of Rosslare Europort on Podcast

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Brittany Ferries this afternoon marked its first completion of operating the new four 'freight' route network of Ireland-France links that began running from Rosslare Europort on this day last week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Armorique which launched the 'Brexit-bypass' routes last Thursday, was to increase much needed freight vehicle space on direct ro-ro services to and from mainland Europe. This was also a first for the operator by linking Wexford and Brittany via St. Malo.

Last night the ferry had sailed from Roscoff overnight and arrived back to Rosslare this afternoon and on scheduled (1400) despite the weather.

Irish hauliers and other customers can avoid the UK landbridge and associated impact on EU/Brexit border trade with Brittany Ferries enhanced choice of four routes: they are Roscoff-St.Malo, Rosslare-Roscoff and Cork-St. Malo and Cork-Roscoff. For full rotation see earlier report. 

Armorique will load freight trucks and drivers before the whole operation begins again with the cruiseferry repeating the rotation of routes linking Wexford, Brittany and Munster (as also reported). The sailing starts at 20.00hrs tonight and arrives in St. Malo the next day at 17.10.

In addition the Breton operator has more freight routes as this month a Rosslare-Cherbourg service was introduced complimenting last year's opening of the Rosslare-Bilbao route in northern Spain.

DFDS, operator of the new route to Dunkirk, using a trio of ferries among them the chartered Drotten vacated the linkspan at Rosslare's outer pier to where Armorique arrived this afternoon.

Astern of the French flagged ferry was the inbound Stena Estrid which was pressed into service on the route from Cherbourg, having been redeployed in recent weeks from the Dublin-Holyhead route.

Taking over these Irish Sea sailings saw Stena Horizon step in, the ropax was the original ferry that inaugurated the Ireland-France service under the banner of Celtic Link Ferries. In 2014, the route along with the same ferry, then Celtic Horizon was acquired by the Swedish operator, which was a first for the company to have a direct Ireland-mainland Europe route.

While Brittany Ferries have considerably taken action with these new routes, they do not have any freight marketshare based out of Dublin Port from where Irish Ferries and most recently Stena Line added a service directly to Cherbourg.  

The port in Normandy is now the busiest in terms of direct ro-ro operations linking France-Ireland with two routes and operated by the three ferry firms providing a total of four services. 

Published in Brittany Ferries
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About Rosslare Europort

2021 sees Rosslare Europort hitting a new record with a total of 36 shipping services a week operating from the port making it one of the premier Irish ports serving the European Continent. Rosslare Europort is a gateway to Europe for the freight and tourist industries. It is strategically located on the sunny south-east coast of Ireland.

Rosslare is within a 90-minute driving radius of major Irish cities; Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Rosslare Europort is a RoRo, RoPax, offshore and bulk port with three RoRo berths with a two-tier linkspan, we also have a dedicated offshore bulk berth.

Exports in Rosslare Europort comprise mainly of fresh products, food, pharmaceuticals, steel, timber and building supplies. While imports are largely in the form of consumer goods such as clothes, furniture, food, trade vehicles, and electronics.

The entire Europort is bar-swept to 7.2 meters, allowing unrestricted access to vessels with draughts up to 6.5 metres. Rosslare Europort offers a comprehensive service including mooring, stevedoring and passenger-car check-in for RoRo shipping lines. It also provides facilities for offshore, dry bulk and general cargo.

The port currently has twice-daily round services to the UK and direct services to the continent each day. Rosslare Europort has a fleet of Tugmasters service, fork-lift trucks, tractors and other handling equipment to cater for non-standard RoRo freight.