A leading UK logistics operator is announcing a major expansion into Northern Ireland with a Belfast-based daily freight service connecting the country to continental Europe.
Europa Road, the European road freight division of leading logistics operator Europa Worldwide Group, will provide daily, fixed, round-trip line haul services from Northern Ireland to the rest of Europe via Europa’s £30m state-of-the-art 1hub facility in Dartford.
The new service is Europa’s first investment into Northern Ireland and will support the success of the import and export market for goods across the country. The Belfast branch is open for business at Adelaide House, Hawthorn Business Park, 1 Falcon Road, and will be led by Branch Manager Dan Rodgers, as part of a team of four.
Dionne Redpath, Sales Director at Europa, said: “This is an exciting development for Europa Road and I’m thrilled that we’re growing into Northern Ireland to support local manufacturers. There is currently a lack of quality daily outbound connectivity from Northern Ireland into mainland Europe. It’s a massive opportunity for customers to access a service that enables shipments to collect today, ship that evening and arrive into Dartford 1hub the next working day for onward connection to Europe on one of our 30 daily departures.”
Belfast, which has a proud shipbuilding and industrial heritage, is set to receive an additional half a billion pounds in additional revenue for the city over the next four years. Visit Belfast is targeting an economic return of £130m from its activities in this financial year and £546m up to 2022.
The launch of Europa’s Northern Ireland operation comes as the country’s economy is predicted to grow steadily over the next three years, then pick up in the longer term as the global economy moves into a stronger growth phase. Unemployment in Northern Ireland is at a historic low and numerous business chains are opening new stores.
Europa’s chosen distribution partner to support the new service is transport and logistics company Liam Connelly, a family-run business based in County Fermanagh. The company has grown over the last 37 years and now operates from a 135,000-sq ft purpose-built facility in Lisnaskea. Liam Connolly has built up an enviable reputation for quality and customer service and has unparalleled coverage right across Ireland.
Darren Connelly, Managing Director, comments: “We’re delighted to be working closely with Europa on their new daily service into continental Europe, they are an innovative operator and this is a great fit for us. We’re looking forward to a successful partnership and the growth of this new service to support businesses across Northern Ireland.”
Dionne added: “Liam Connelly are well known to many businesses in Northern Ireland and we’re delighted to be working together on this new venture. The company provides a fantastic service, their IT offering is second to none, and their values and care for their customers fits nicely with our ethos.”
All Europa Road services will be available at the new Belfast branch, including the pioneering MBX (Money Back Express), which offers Europa customers a full refund of freight charges in the event that the business fails to deliver to the customer’s defined and agreed transit time.
In the last five years, Europa has doubled in size, with the business achieving its strongest financial position in its 50-year history. This is largely due to the crucial investments it has made, and the opening of the Northern Ireland branch will undoubtedly contribute towards the company’s continuing success.
As well as its road freight services, Europa also provides dedicated air & sea, warehouse and showfreight services. The business’s turnover exceeded £144m at the end of 2017 and is on track to exceed £200m by the end of 2018. The business operates 14 sites across the UK, Hong Kong and Belgium and is represented in 100 countries.