The service will have a twice-weekly frequency and aims to strengthen Ireland’s existing connection to the extensive Grimaldi network consisting of over 140 ports worldwide, while improving the transit time and transport service efficiency for rolling freight with destination Antwerp, Grimaldi’s main hub in the North of Europe.
The Grimaldi Group has been operating in the Republic of Ireland for nearly 25 years. Thanks to the successful partnership with Port of Cork Company, it currently runs a regular ro-ro and container service directly linking Cork to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean and, through transhipment in Antwerp, to destinations in North and South America, West Africa and Russia.
Moreover, through its subsidiary Euromed Ireland Logistics Ltd (EMIL), the Grimaldi Group runs its fully equipped ro-ro/multipurpose terminal at Ringaskiddy (Cork) as well as a modern fleet of modern car-transporters, in order to offer high-quality logistics services to the local automotive industry.
The vessel deployed on the Antwerp-Cork service will be the Italian-flagged ro-ro unit Eurocargo Bari, which has a length of 200 metres, a beam of 26.5 metres, a gross tonnage of 32,632 tonnes and a service speed of 23 knots. She can transport 3,850 linear metres of rolling freight as well as 200 cars, thanks to her hoistable decks.
The Eurocargo Bari is a modern environmentally sustainable ro-ro vessel which will considerably improve the carbon footprint of transport between Ireland and the Continent. Moreover, being Antwerp located much closer to Europe’s main production sites and consuming markets compared to other neighbouring ports, the service will bring additional environmental benefits as trucks and trailers will need to cover shorter distances by road.
“This is certainly a pivotal moment for Irish importers and exporters as they are forced to realign their supply chains to a more Euro-centric model”, stated Grimaldi Group Managing Director Emanuele Grimaldi. “We have, therefore, decided to further strengthen our commitment to the Irish economy and respond to the needs of our customers by expanding our business in the country and upgrading our transport services. This maritime connection between our Antwerp hub and the port of Cork will represent a highly competitive and more environmentally friendly alternative to the UK Land Bridge”.
The Group plans to add capacity and improve the new Antwerp-Cork service frequency in the near future.