Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. Striding the River Lagan and with a population of 360,000, it is the twelfth largest city in the UK. The fact that Belfast is situated on a great waterway will immediately be of interest to logistics companies and Belfast couriers. “River transport” may well be a useful way to dispatch and deliver business consignments and residential parcels.
More than Just the River
But thanks to the efficient road network, Belfast is a very car-dependent city. A survey in 2005 found that nearly 80% of people made their journeys by car. In light of this information, a further road improvement scheme began early in 2006 to build on the extensive road resources including the M2 and the M22.
Road transport for Belfast Couriers
Taxis, trains and buses are both very accessible to residents in Belfast. The rail system links directly to Coleraine, Portrush and Derry. The Enterprise rail system connects Belfast with Dublin in Eire. Due to the fact that there is no bridge or tunnel to the rest of the UK, the rail system only serves Northern Ireland and Eire, but there is a ferry “Sailrail” which connects Belfast to the main western UK cities.
Air Freight for Belfast couriers
Belfast has two airports and together they offer local UK flights, European flights and international flights. Belfast couriers will be interested to know that in 2005, Belfast International Airport was the 11th busiest commercial airport in the UK.
A Busy Irish Port
The River Lagan opens out to the North Channel and the Irish Sea, so it really does provide a superb port and shipping routes out to the UK and the world. As well as offering ferries to nearby islands such as the Isle of Man, it is a very busy commercial port for imports and exports.
A Short History of this Commercial Irish Port
Since the 17th century, Belfast has been the centre of commerce when its exports included beef, butter, hides, tallow and corn. Imports included alcohol, timber, paper and tobacco. It was during this time that the linen trade found its roots and by the 18th century Belfast provided one-fifth of linen exports. By the 19th century and thanks to the industrial revolution, Belfast had become the largest linen producing centre in the world. The harbour was the key to future growth and in 1845 it was dredged to allow thoroughfare of much larger ships.
A Modern Economy
The British Aerospace Company has thrived in Belfast since 1936 but the linen industry declined after the first world war when mass-produced cotton took hold. The Irish troubles which peaked in the 1960’s and 1970’s also had a detrimental effect on the manufacturing industries in Belfast. However, following the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, investors have had a great deal more confidence in investing in city industry and subsequently the economy continues to grow.
In fact, over the last decade, Belfast has proved to be the fastest-growing economy of the thirty largest cities in the UK. There was a time when the city was synonymous with the violent troubles across Ireland but now this is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Belfast is gaining a much more dynamic identity. Also, and perhaps most importantly, individuals are wanting to holiday there. Hence its tourist industry is growing exponentially.
Shipbuilding and Belfast Couriers
Where there is a port there are shipbuilders and Belfast is no exception. The shipbuilding industry in this Northern Irish city has become famous. It was here in 1911 that the biggest shipbuilding company in the world – “Harland and Wolff – built “The Titanic”.