Irish imports decrease 75% as suppliers adapt to Brexit

Dixon Transport encourages suppliers to continue to adapt to Brexit as Irish imports decrease by almost 75%.

The global pandemic made 2020 an extremely challenging year for both businesses and individuals. Sight was somewhat lost of the looming Brexit deadline on the 31st December. Following the turn of the year, a whole new set of challenges were faced by the transport industry in Ireland and the UK, challenges never before experienced.

New requirements were introduced around customs paperwork, market uncertainty after Brexit. The French borders were then closed due to the ongoing pandemic. These challenges led to a perfect storm of the movement of goods to and from Ireland and mainland UK. All resulting  in the industry as a whole taking a big hit throughout January and February.

The impact of Brexit on imports

Dixon Transport predominately transport food and pharmaceutical goods. These essential items had an initial import drop of 75-80% in January due to the issues posed by Brexit. Whilst the business did expect an initial reduction on imports, the extent of this was not known. As a result, large numbers of trailers had to be shipped back with no stock on board which is a massive burden on cost, resources and has significant environmental implications. Thankfully, the flow of imports into Ireland has steadily increased over the past number of weeks – although there is a still a 50-60% reduction on loads coming into Ireland per day vs previous years.

Europe exports

On European exports, Dixon EU Export Manager, Richard Lyndsey is of the opinion that while exports have remained strong, the limited number of direct sailings from Dublin to Europe has created additional issues. With such limited European sailings and heavily increased demand, transport via the UK land-bridge is still proving to be most effective. The UK land-bridge is still the fastest, most economical and efficient route for trucks travelling IE to mainland Europe and vice versa. This is also still the most cost-effective route to market, regardless of any charges around customs paperwork.

Dixon Transport has increased staff levels to help create T2 Customs Transit paperwork internally and have them discharged at point of destination to try help reduce delays. As time progresses and more knowledge is gained on paperwork requirements from both suppliers and haulers, confidence in using the UK land-bridge for exports is slowly coming back.

At Dixon, we are encouraging our clients to use the land-bridge option.

Looking ahead

Over time as more knowledge into the various requirements around paperwork is known, the flow of goods will continue to improve for both imports and exports. Coupling this with the roll out of Covid-19 vaccines through Ireland, UK and mainland Europe, increased levels of consumer confidence can be expected going into Q2 of 2021 and further. This can only lead to increased demand for goods, thus leading to a greater need for haulage services.

It is however important that suppliers continue to expand their knowledge and become more aware of the documentation requirements associated with Brexit to ensure trucks can get back on the road to meet the needs of customer demand.


For Brexit transportation tips or documentation advice please visit




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