Rosslare Europort has reported a 50% increase in freight activity in 2021, with direct activity between the port and continental Europe up by 371%.

There are now 30 direct services operating weekly between Rosslare and the continent and the demand for those links is driven by a desire by transport companies and exporters to avoid the UK landbridge and any post-Brexit delays.

Activity between Rosslare and the UK fell by 34% last year with the amount of freight units on British routes down from 2020 by almost 33,000 to 64,964.

However, the boost in continental traffic more than made up for that downturn as 119,927 freight units were carried between Rosslare and European ports during 2021, up from 25,450 the previous year.

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

He said the increase in volume at the port demonstrates "the shift in demand for services out of Rosslare from other hubs" and pointed out that Rosslare is the closest Irish port to the continent.

Mr Carr also said that they hope to see "significant growth" in passenger traffic this year.

Work should start on elements of the port's "masterplan" this year, including more infrastructure for customs and border control as well as the digitalisation of the port.