Irish freight forwarder EFL is ready to off er a rail service from China to Ireland. Services will operate on a weekly basis, connecting

with EFL’s

could stand it in good stead when Brexit comes into play at the end of the year. Chris Radley is also keen to


weekly service from Tilburg to its depot in Dublin. Shipments will arrive into EFL’s temporary storage facility (TSF) bonded area where customs clearance will be transacted; EFL is an accredited AEO. Full LCL containers are consolidated in Chengdu, deconsolidated in Tilburg and reconsolidated there into Ireland- bound boxes. Full containerload services by rail are also available. Transit

time from China

to Ireland is around 30 days, compared with around 48-50 days by sea. Moreover, says EFL International director Chris Radley, it is cheaper than airfreight, especially as rates remain infl ated following


PPE surge, and it is more reliable than seafreight where lines have blanked numerous sailings from China to Europe. “The

service off ers stable

transit times and the number of train departures has been increased,” Radley explains. It will be geared to LCL for

imports only initially and is expected to handle a wide variety of commodities including wearing apparel and machinery. While not the only rail service

from China to Ireland, Radley believes that it is at the time of writing the only one operated by an Irish forwarder not interlinked with a China-UK service, which

push ahead with direct LCL services from the Raunheim and Cologne regions of Germany into Ireland in the near future. These will also be geared to imports, although EFL already has the capability to export via its Tilburg, Netherlands hub, all geared to the greener, container mode of transport in preference to road. It has teamed up with local German agent Ontour Transport Services to operate the service, which is based primarily on short-sea shipping services via Rotterdam or Antwerp. Transit times over the

weekend with arrival into Dublin on Monday are similar to road, says Radley. EFL has a separate service from

Hamburg to Ireland operated with a diff erent partner. EFL, like all Irish forwarders

has meanwhile had to cope with Covid. Radley states: “We put everything in place to provide protection for our staff


service providers such as remote access, protection screen and sanitising facilities. However, most staff preferred to come to the offi ce to work. We remained open for business throughout and have had no issues internally.” EFL’s systems relating to Covid

have been examined by the HSE and IAA and approved. But EFL’s clients have mostly being working remotely, which

has created challenges for the physical handling of cargo for delivery and collection due to the slowdown in communications. Customers involved in the

food packaging and medical sectors, for example, have been extremely busy with imports, including large volumes of PPE from Asia by air and ocean. The

lockdown did though for a time put a complete stop

to the specialist pet and bike transportation services that EFL off ers, “but since the end of June we are seeing a steady increase in bookings for both services”, says Radley. Pet transport is starting to

recover to something like its pre- Covid levels and while the bikes business remains subdued due to the almost total cessation of international tourism to Ireland,

Issue 7 2020 - FBJ Ireland

EFL has moved a few machines for people moving to take up jobs overseas. Unfortunately, he adds, “there

are a lot of mixed messages from the Irish

government relating

to Covid which is causing uncertainty in the general public and this can have a negative knock on eff ect on retail for example. The future will remain uncertain for perhaps another year or more until some breakthrough relating to a vaccine is made available to the general public. Until then we


have to live with Covid.” The Irish government has

though introduced a localised lockdown system that could take some of the pain out of the situation by enabling businesses in unaff ected areas of the country to continue relatively normally. However, around a third of the country’s population and an even greater proportion of its trade and commerce are concentrated in Greater Dublin so any lockdowns there would aff ect the whole country.

“YOUR NEW IRISH PARTNER” Toga Freight, Ireland’s award winning &

longest established UK to Ireland groupage operator seeks additional Partners

If you ship goods to Ireland, either direct or via an existing partner or network - we would like to speak to you about working with us for mutual benefit. Toga loads up to 20 groupage trailers daily in the UK for Ireland and offers first class delivery in all 32 counties of Ireland, courtesy of our own “Private

Delivery Network” based around 15 partner depots operating over 300 trucks and vans. We also have daily collections from most areas in the UK.

We are also Ireland’s largest customs clearance agent, processing more customs entries annually than any other Irish forwarder, and we have bespoke “Brexit Solutions” in place now, so working with us gives you an advantage over your competitors.


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