RHA Claims Red Tape Issues At Welsh Ports

Hauliers are facing serious issues while travelling through Welsh ports to Ireland, causing a significant drop off in trade through the ports, according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

Rhys Williams, RHA regional operations manager for Wales, has said that there is a serious issue with HGV traffic passing through Welsh ports, with an increased amount of paperwork, reports Fleetpoint.

“I’m in regular dialogue with the Welsh government, who have also expressed their concern about the viability and future of the Welsh ports. It’s not just Holyhead, but also the two south-west Wales ports of Pembroke and Fishguard,” said Williams.

During a meeting between the Welsh Government and Welsh hauliers, Williams said that one operator who used to send 150 trailers a week from the UK to Ireland through Welsh ports has only shipped five since January.

Williams explained that operators are continuing to face major issues with documentation, which exporters are still struggling to process, with some claiming it is taking between five and six hours.

The delays have forced businesses to look for other means of exporting goods. Williams told of a Welsh plant nursery, Seiont Nurseries in Caernarfon, which used to receive shipments from a supplier in Kilkenny via Holyhead within 12 hours.

However, Brexit red tape has meant the business is now shipping via France, Belgium and the Netherlands to avoid Holyhead, receiving its orders via a four-day trip involving three EU countries and the UK, which has increased costs from £100 to £280 per trolley.

Holyhead was the second busiest roll-on roll-off port in the UK after Dover, until December 2020, with around 450,000 trucks a year going via the port to Dublin.

However, freight volumes have plunged by 50 per cent since the end of the Brexit transition on 1 January, with the port’s owner, Stena Line warning that the slump could be permanent.

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