A new freight shipping route from Waterford to Rotterdam has opened a new pathway between Ireland and the continent which could help exporters post-Brexit.

The first sailing on the Waterford-Rotterdam route, by Dutch company BG Freight Line in partnership with container shipping multi-national Maersk, took place last Saturday and will be a weekly fixture between the southeast and the continent.

Executives from the Port of Waterford and Maersk are due to meet business figures from the region this evening to outline details of the new route and the opportunities it will provide.

The development comes as the Cabinet discusses contingency plans for Brexit, including preparations at ports and airports.

The new shipping route means goods can travel directly from Waterford to Rotterdam and then onto other ports worldwide, instead of Dublin, offering a new option for exporters.

The route is container-based rather than used by roll-on roll-off hauliers.

According to the Port of Waterford, the new service will be a boost to businesses who want to ship containers to or from Africa, Asia and North or South America.