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Bounce Back at Belfast Harbour With Record Trade as Brexit Pushes GB Traffic Away from Dublin

21st June 2022
Bounce back at Belfast Harbour which has returned to pre-pandemic profit levels. Above Afloat adds of bulkers berthed and a Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) ferry Bounce back at Belfast Harbour which has returned to pre-pandemic profit levels. Above Afloat adds of bulkers berthed and a Belfast-Birkenhead (Liverpool) ferry Credit: Belfast Harbour-facebook

Belfast Harbour handled a record volume of trade last year, with Brexit checks cited as one factor.

The port said 25.6 million tonnes was handled in 2021, an increase of 9% on the previous year.

The trade volume was also up 5% on the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

While a pandemic bounce back was one driver of the increase in trade in 2021, the harbour’s annual report also highlighted that Belfast had benefited from a diversion of traffic away from GB to Republic of Ireland routes.

While Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol requires checks on goods entering NI from GB, the processes are not as rigorous as those applied on GB shipments to Ireland.

Ongoing grace periods that have delayed the full implementation of the protocol are one of the main reasons for the differential in checks between NI and RoI ports.

Northern Ireland exporters can also sell unfettered in the rest of the UK market if they ship from NI ports.

More from ITV News including a comment from the CEO of Belfast Harbour on the trading results. 

Published in Belfast Lough
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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