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Irish trade re-focuses on EU markets, away from GB

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Data from Dublin Port has shown how trade volume into Great Britain has fallen since Brexit, whilst exports into the EU have grown. 

From January to September last year, overall port throughput fell 3.3% compared to the year before, whilst imports saw a small 0.4% rise. 

CEO of Dublin Port, Eamonn O’Reilly, noted that there has been a switch in trade activity since Brexit. 

He said: “After nine months, the impact of Brexit on the profile of Dublin Ports’ trade has become clear with volumes on unitised services to Great Britain declining by just over one-fifth while volumes on services to Continental Europe increased by more than a more a third.

“Because of this, our unitised volumes are now split 50/50 between GB ports and ports in Continental Europe. Before Brexit, GB ports accounted for almost two-thirds.”

This shift in the direction of trade activity is having a negative impact on the port, with the volume of trailers moving through the port reducing. Almost 60,000 driver-accompanied loads that would have been expected before Brexit are now going through as unaccompanied trailers. 

Read more: UK-EU trade flows down a fifth against no-Brexit expectations

O’Reilly commented further: “This is bad news from a port capacity perspective.

“Our interpretation of this is that the average size of a load in a single container or trailer has reduced because operational efficiencies which the Single European Market had facilitated in trade with Britain has been removed because of Brexit.”

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