Ferry routes out of Rosslare port are subsidised during the pandemic, and hauliers are asking for similar support. Photo: David Dixon/Geograph.ie (CC-BY-SA)

Running on empty: Hauliers with half loads eye ferry subsidies, but will they get them?

The Government is supporting ferry companies to keep sailing despite the absence of passengers. Hauliers forced to run empty lorries on some return journeys are now asking for the same treatment while the pandemic disrupts supply chains.

21st May, 2020 - 5 min read

From his base in New Ross, Co Wexford, Richard Nolan, CEO of Nolan Transport, one of the largest haulage companies in the country, says he now sees five to 10 lorries travelling empty every day. “There were none of these” before Covid-19, he tells The Currency. The main problem is in transport using specialised vehicles, which accounts for 10 to 20 per cent of all freight. “You can’t put steel in a refrigerated trailer, or broccoli on a flat trailer,” he says.

With Covid-19 restrictions hitting various industries in different ways, freight volumes transported in and out of Ireland have shifted along unexpected patterns. Some sectors deemed...

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