UK Landbridge

HANNON Health Certificates Service

New customs and SPS requirements for goods imported into Great Britain are due to come into force on 31 Jan 2024

The new rules bring significant changes for Irish traders and will impact businesses that:

export goods to Great Britain; or
export to other EU / EFTA countries via the UK landbridge.

All products of animal origin (POAO) considered medium or high risk will require a Health Certificate to be provided for transport in addition to commercial documents.


Fin out more about new UK import requirements


Our Customs Clearance Team has worked with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to put solutions in place for HANNON groupage customers.


HANNON groupage customers can either:

  • arrange for a veterinary inspector (VI) to complete their own Health Certificates; or
  • use the HANNON Health Certificates Service to have a Health Certificate completed at HANNON Dublin by a DAFM VI.
    The HANNON Health Certificates Service is available for Groupage ONLY. Customers with Full Load consignments should arrange for a veterinary inspector (VI) to complete their own Health Certificates. For more information contact your HANNON Account Manager.


UK Landbridge Remains Optimal for Fresh Produce

Effective supply chain management (SCM) of fresh food supply chains is particularly challenging due to the highly perishable nature of the product involved.

In the turbulent days surrounding BREXIT, the UK’s initial withdrawal from the EU, and the twists and turns of subsequent (protracted) negotiations, many companies understandably sought the refuge of direct boat options between Ireland and mainland EU to avoid risk of disruption to their supply chains.

The shift to direct boat options was primarily driven by the uncertainty surrounding the new customs requirements, and the perceived risk regarding the potential for bottlenecks at cause border ports and supply chains to grind to a standstill.

As custom requirements are now well bedded in, and capacity at border ports proven, Supply Chain Managers, particularly in the fresh produce sectors, are reassessing their use of the UK Landbridge as their go-to option and seeking lessons-learned on their mixed experience of direct boat options.


UK Landbridge Provides Choice & Resilience

  • UK Landbridge Provides Choice & Resilience: Supply chain professionals are now very comfortable post-Brexit using a responsive mix of direct ferry and UK Landbridge routes with an expectation that transport providers can provide integrated customs clearance solutions to dynamically ensure exports move cross-border without delays.
  • Integrated Supply Chain: The UK Landbridge is seamlessly integrated into existing supply chains, allowing for smoother logistics coordination and faster delivery of fresh foods to market destinations.
  • Flexibility and Reliability: The UK Landbridge offers greater supply chain management (SCM) flexibility in scheduling and routing, allowing for timely adjustments to meet changing demand and ensure reliable delivery of fresh foods, even in peak seasons or unforeseen circumstances and to support effective SCM of Seasonal Listings, Food Specials Listings and demand variations.


Key issues associated with direct boat vs UK Landbridge:

  • Extended Transit Time Impacts Margin: Using direct boat options introduces longer transit times compared to the traditional UK Landbridge (often as much as half a day when journey time and frequency are factored in) resulting in baked-in delays that eat into end-shelf life of fresh foods and impact freshness and quality. In a low-margin industry such as supermarket fresh foods, supply chain management (SCM) delays can have a significant impact between thriving or surviving.
  • Limited Capacity & Frequency: Direct boat options available have limited capacity and less frequent sailings compared to the established ferry and Eurotunnel Le Shuttle alternatives of the UK Landbridge Reliance on direct boat options makes it difficult for Supply Chain Managers to optimise their Fresh Foods Supply Chain and make it challenging for businesses to meet demand and maintain flexible and reliable supply.  In contrast, LeShuttle Freight offers up to 6 departures an hour with an average crossing time of only 35 minutes via the Channel Tunnel.
  • Lack of Flexibility: Direct boat routes offer limited flexibility in re-scheduling and re-routing compared to the established ferry and Eurotunnel Le Shuttle alternatives of the UK Landbridge route, making it highly challenging for Supply Chain Managers to effectively manage multiple suppliers and react to unforeseen events to get their supply chains back on track and consistently meet delivery schedules to Regional Distribution Centres (RDCs).
  • Heightened Disruption Risk: Reliance on direct boat options for transporting fresh produce introduces significant supply chain vulnerabilities. Direct boat options sail via open sea and are inherently more susceptible to significant delays and cancellations due to adverse weather conditions, impacting delivery dependability, supermarket inventory levels, and product availability.
  • RDC & Warehouse Time Slot Management Issues: Unpredictability of upstream supply chain and delays to trunk routes can quickly lead to severe and widespread problems downstream at warehouses and distribution centres impacting Time Slot Management (TSM) and have significant negative impact on your Regional Supply Chain and the ability of these teams and locations to accept deliveries and maintain onward deliveries to stores.
  • Slow Recovery Times: When cancellations occur on direct boat routes, experience shows it can be very difficult to get back on track due to restricted capacity, limited alternative options and the complex logistics involved in rescheduling shipments, leading to further delays in transporting fresh produce.
  • Sub-Optimal Inventory Management: Potential for reduced flexibility and reliability in any aspect of the supply chain requires risk mitigation to be put in place. Supply chain professionals need to be able to react quickly to anticipated stock levels.  The inherent limitations associated with current direct boat options can adversely impact supply chain professionals’ ability to balance supply and demand while optimising pallet usage, minimum order quantities and delivery lead times.  Overstocking can lead to unsold items reaching their expiry dates, while understocking can result in lost sales opportunities.
  • Seasonal Listings, Food Specials Listings & Demand Variations: Seasonal Listings, short-run Food Specials Listings, and general fluctuations in demand for fresh produce require rapid adjustments in SCM that require maximum flexibility in capacity and frequency. The flexibility supply chain professionals require is better accommodated by the significantly greater capacity and frequency of UK Landbridge.
  • Cost Considerations: While direct boat routes may seem cost-effective initially, the potential for increased total costs due to longer transit times, and increased risk of significant delays or cancellations due to adverse weather can negatively impact the bottom line.
  • Quality Assurance Issues: Issues with direct boat options may pose challenges in maintaining quality assurance for fresh produce. Extended transit times and heightened risk of significant delays and cancellations increase the risk of supply chain disruption, product degradation, and compromised quality upon arrival.
  • Customer Expectations: Supermarkets and consumers alike expect fresh produce to be of high quality and have an extended shelf life. Direct boat routes may struggle to meet these expectations consistently due to the inherent limitations and risks associated with deep sea transportation.
  • Brand Reputation: Quality issues and delays in delivering fresh produce to supermarkets can damage brand reputation and erode consumer trust, particularly if instances of spoilage or subpar quality become publicised or recurrent.


Our in-house Customs Clearance Teams have worked seamlessly with our Transport Teams to ensure products have continued to move across borders without delays.

Get in touch to find out more about our services…

HANNON Transport
Temperature Controlled Logistics
Ireland, UK & Europe

Get in touch to find out more about our daily refrigerated services providing transport and customs for consignments of horticultural products between EU and Ireland…

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Chilled & Frozen Logistics

Europe, UK & Ireland

Over 25 years experience

Over 400 dedicated employees, working from several European hubs, delivering operational excellence.