Intermodal Route Planner plays a key role in re-developing Irish supply chains for a post-Brexit Europe

The Brexit transition period will come to an end on 31st December 2020. No matter what, if any, trade agreement between Great Britain and the EU is put into place every vehicle travelling between Continental Europe and Ireland using Landbridge across Britain from then on will then be subject to Customs and other Border controls.

Currently 150,000 trucks use the Landbridge each year securing a Dublin to Calais transit time of under 20 hours based on multiple daily sailings and carrying mainly food, pharmaceutical and other high-tech products. It is now clear that the new border controls at EU and UK Ports will undermine the effectiveness of the Landbridge model leading to significant additional costs and uncertain timelines.

As overall Irish trade with Europe has increased, and particularly since Brexit was announced, there has been a substantial development of direct ro-ro and lo-lo services to Atlantic Arc ports. Much of the trailer traffic using the direct services is shipped on an unaccompanied basis and increasingly trailers and containers are on-forwarded using port connected rail and barge services to Distribution Centres located close to shipment destination.

Finding the appropriate intermodal solution for their shipments has emerged as a significant issue for shippers and forwarders. The intermodal route planner developed as a component of the EU-EIP ITS project is now proving its worth and provides the knowledge base required. It is being actively promoted by the Irish Exporters Association and other partners in the project. Currently the route planner’s database includes some 1000 intermodal terminals, 174 intermodal transport service operators and gives approximately 20,000 direct connections along with many more indirect ones. The planner is under constant development with new links being added daily.

The EU EIP Intermodal route planner is found at: https://eastwestcorridor.eu/Planner.  It can also be accessed through the project website.