Belview Port in South Kilkenny linked to global shipping routes for first time
By COLIN BARTLEY
BELVIEW Port in South Kilkenny will be connected to global shipping trade routes for the first time as a result of a major new link-up with Dutch shipping line.
Dutch based BG Freight Line will launch the Port of Waterford to Rotterdam, Holland trade route when it begins a weekly service next month.
The new link means goods leaving the port in Co. Kilkenny can continue through Rotterdam and onto globally strategic ports such as Shanghai, Singapore and Dubai.
Rotterdam is one of the world’s busiest ports and the most important port in Europe. The new route is being created in partnership with shipping giant Maersk.
The news comes as a massive boost to Kilkenny and the South East region as a whole.
Added to the announcement last week that Waterford Airport is to extend its runway as part of a €12 million upgrade – aided by Kilkenny County Council support, it has been a very good week for the strategic economic drivers in the region.
The latest figures available show the Port of Waterford and Belview Industrial Zone employs 632 people, creating €34 million in wages and salaries, adding €91 million in value to the area.
Some 25% of the total staff working in the Port of Waterford and Industrial Zone are from Kilkenny.
It is estimated that the annual value of goods through the port is €1.7 billion. The Port is the third most popular destination in the Republic for cruise visits.
Terminal Operations Manager Derek Madigan said the new service is a massive moment in the history of the port.
“We’ve now got a feeder deep sea service operating out of Waterford we’ve never had anything like that before,” he said.
“It’s a new departure, it’s something we’ve been asked for by exporters and importers in the region for a number of years, and it’s taken long time to bring it to fruition.”