Already absorbing an expected annual operating loss of €270,000, Waterford Port has been hit with the loss of one of its main shipping operators to Dublin.

Belgian short sea container carrier C2C Shipping Lines currently trades between Zeebrugge, Waterford and Warrenpoint. However, from November its freight volumes are to be changed from a pure container operation to a roll-on, roll-off vessel, whose business will be concentrated in Dublin Port.

Earlier this year C2C switched its weekly Radicatel (Rouen Port) Service from Waterford to the Alexandra Quay Terminal in Dublin.

‘Exports mean jobs’

Meanwhile, exports mean jobs: that was the message issued at Waterford Port in Belview last Friday where regional exporters and local businesses gathered at an event to mark Europe Exports Day organised by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA).

Of the 530,000 tonnes of exports leaving Waterford Port last year, 93 per cent went to other EU Member States.

In total, over 84,000 containers of Irish exports leave Waterford Port annually, the equivalent of one full container for every man, woman and child living in Waterford.

Speaking at the event, attended by Minister Martin Cullen and MEP Alan Kelly, local employers highlighted the importance of exports to jobs in Waterford and the south east.

“The ease of access to this huge market has guaranteed the expansion of our business and we expect to continue to grow our sales throughout the EU region in the next few years,” said NutriScience’s Louise Grubb.

“This progress enables is crucial to our business, our employees and their families.”