An increasingly popular method for moving ‘full loads’ across Europe is via a combination of the mainland's rail networks, short sea shipping and inland haulage.
In certain instances, moving full loads (FCL’s) across the continent for final delivery to Ireland by rail and a sea crossing can be less expensive in comparison to direct door to door collection and delivery on the international trailer.
Some governments are investing heavily into developing better rail networks across Europe, with the aim to connect every state capital to all the major sea ports across the continent, and remove a large portion of HGV traffic off the already congested European road network.
How it works:
An empty container is placed with the exporter/shipper for loading at the inland point of origin. Truck and trailer bring the container to the nearest rail hub for loading onto the next available train to the port of departure to Ireland. This port could be Gdansk in Poland, Hamburg in Germany, Rotterdam in Holland, Zeebrugge in Belgium or L’Havre in France. After the container arrives in Dublin, Cork or Belfast, inland haulage is arranged for delivery to final destination.
Aside from the potential cost benefits, the entire movement can be performed on one Multimodal Transport document, essentially cutting down on delays caused by administration, and as most departures and arrivals are within the the Customs Union, any customs or fiscal regulations are negated, with the exception of excisable goods.