Spotlight on: Waterford

Spotlight on Waterford

Boasting a rail connection and congestion free roads, compared to other ports, the Port of Waterford is considered “the greenest, most direct route to Europe” from Ireland. It is also the home of Customs Support in Ireland, where we operate a 24/7 customs clearance service.

But how much does the Port of Waterford contribute to Irish supply chains? Find out in this article.

The Port of Waterford

The Port of Waterford manages significant volumes of cargo every year, including:

  • More than 50,000 TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent units).
  • Over 1,660,000 tonnes of bulk products.
  • More than 142,000 tonnes of break-bulk products.

(Figures are for 2021)

Fertilisers made up 597,600 tonnes (36%) of the 1,660,000 tonnes of bulk products imported, demonstrating how important the Port of Waterford is to the agricultural sector in Ireland.

Connected by rail, the port can transport containers to and from vessels with minimal disruptions to surrounding operations. There are two rail services running at the port, running inbound on Tuesdays and Fridays, and outbound on Fridays and Mondays.

The history of Waterford and the port.

Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city, and was established in 914 AD by Viking Ragnall. However, there are also stories of a fortified encampment at the location made by Sitric the Chieftan in 853 AD, which some believe to be the true origins of the town.

Although there was some trade at the estuary from the beginning, the Port of Waterford only began significant handling after King John gave the town its first charter in 1215.

The port grew over time to provide agricultural products to England, Spain, Italy and France, and imported large amounts of wine in return. During the 1600s, Waterford was second only to Dublin in terms of trade volume.

By the 1700s, Waterford had the monopoly on exports for essential commodities like wool, hides, salt, and iron, as well as luxuries such as figs, dates, and silk. In the 1800s, the port had connections to approximately 400 ports and the largest shipbuilding yard in Ireland

In 2022, the port remains a company of the state and continues to develop. The current plans look forward to 2044, and include improvements to the rail and road infrastructure, as well as dredging to expand waterways.

As a port of significance in Europe and Ireland, the Port of Waterford has built a community of logistics and customs clearance specialists. Bell Transport was one of the companies in this pool of talent, which was acquired by Customs Support in 2022 to become our HQ in Ireland.

Did you know?

  • As a bilingual city, Waterford is also known as Port Lairge, Irish for ‘port of the thigh’. This name is attributed to a legend of a prince called Rot, who was lured to the sea by sirens and whose thigh washed up at Waterford.
  • The first Ryanair flight was from Waterford to London Gatwick in July 1985.
  • Waterford is the first Irish city that an English monarch visited, when Henry II became the first one to land in Ireland in 1171.
  • Waterford was recently voted the best place to live in Ireland in the Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021 contest.
  • Waterford’s technology college was recently recognised for its academic achievements, and has been invested in to form the Technological University of South East Ireland

Do you need customs clearance in Waterford or Ireland?

Customs Support provide clearance services for every major sea and air port in the UK and Ireland. If you need customs clearance in Waterford, contact us for more information.

Photo: Madrugada Verde / Shutterstock