IWT freight trains from Ballina to increase by 30%

May 2, 2019

Multimodal News – April 30 2019

Dublin based logistics company International Warehousing and Transport (IWT) have announced that they are increasing rail services between Dublin Port and Ballina, Co. Mayo by 30% from mid-May

The trains are operated in conjunction with Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) and the increase brings the number operated up to nine per week in each direction. IWT commenced using rail for containers between Dublin Port and Ballina in August 2009 with just two services per week each way, mainly to serve the soft drinks factory located near Ballina. The supply of concentrate to the factory is still the mainstay of the operation. However, additional new business has been added from the medical, retail and brewing industries in the area. Irish Rail is now to spend €1m on upgrading the Ballina terminal.

IWT use the Ballina rail freight terminal as a railhead for the West and North West of Ireland and make regular deliveries to Westport, Letterkennny, Tuam and Castlebar from their adjacent storage yard. This is used to ‘buffer stock’ allowing their customers to store product close to production facilities, reducing lead time and eliminating storage charges at Dublin Port.

The increase in rail traffic is due to several reasons, primarily the steadily increasing costs of road haulage making rail more cost effective. The rising cost of fuel and HGV driver wages over the last 12 – 18 months have resulted in more freight being transferred to rail which has been less susceptible to the increases.  Additionally, increased shipping through Dublin Port has resulted in queues for terminals and increased congestion by HGVs. Transferring freight to rail is helping to alleviate the traffic congestion around the port and reducing the terminal queueing times.

Services operating from Dublin Port have experienced a 99% load factor whilst those from Ballina are also well loaded. Rail traffic carried by IWT has been increasing by 5% year on year. The lower carbon footprint of rail transport is also encouraging movement from the roads.

IWT was founded in 1981 and is a wholly Irish owned company with offices in Dublin and Rotterdam. In 2003 the then directors successfully launched a management buyout and have operated successfully since then.


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