The future of Ireland’s transport and logistics sector could be bleak according to Nicola Walker, managing director of Cronus Logistics, one of the country’s most innovative supply chain companies on the Irish-UK gateway.
The Freight Transport Association of Ireland’s (FTAI) recently highlighted the huge growth in foreign transport operators moving large percent of Ireland’s goods. The FTAI’s, general manager, Neil McDonnell, said: “We have consistently warned the Government about the danger of labour substitution by foreign operators. Our drivers are subject to competition from abroad, on both Irish and continental roads. We now have the second most expensive minimum wage in Europe after Luxembourg. If we do not control the costs of our internationally-traded services, we will lose them to lower cost locations – primarily to Eastern Europe. We ask all political parties to bear this in mind as Ireland enters the General Election cycle.”
FTAI also highlighted, that even though in October 2015 imports showed a growth with an increase of 9% and exports were up 21% on the same period in 2014, “it shows whoever is moving Irish goods, it’s not Irish operators” commented Neil McDonnell, general manager of FTAI.
This is a timely reminder according to Nicola Walker. “The business community should see this as a call to action, we should be supporting each other and working together to maintain our sector so vital for the Irish economy. This is a tough business to be in with competition from within Ireland and across the EU. What is needed as they have asked for, is a level playing field. In an industry where margins are very low, it is difficult for companies to compete and pay the living wage when foreign competitors are not paying similar levels. The FTAI is working for a strong future for Irish transport operators and it is about time the politicians realised that without government support this will have a negative impact on the current growth in the Irish economy,” according to Nicola Walker.
About Cronus Logistics:
Cronus Logistics is a dedicated logistics specialist offering door to door services on the UK – Ireland gateway. The sustainable cost-effective multimodal solution breaks the mould of traditional LO/LO shipping to deliver a unique logistics alternative for the UK – Irish markets. Operating ships between the Port of Bristol and Warrenpoint, with 4 departures a week in each direction, the service enables a standard 48 hour door to door service for importers and exporters. Making supply chains greener by reducing road miles and breaking the mould of the traditional container shipping lines.
Their 4000t vessels are capable of taking up to 80 forty-five foot curtain-sided or box containers, alongside 20ft and 40ft boxes and refrigerated containers. The ships can also easily accommodate out of gauge cargo.
Bristol is only 90 miles from Birmingham, around 100 miles from London and with reducing road mileage a big factor for both exporters and importers, cutting their carbon footprint on an operationally effective yet more cost-efficient service starts to make a lot of logistical and financial sense.
One of the big attractions of the port at Warrenpoint is its location, situated midway between Dublin and Belfast. It has excellent road links to the major population centres of Ireland and with an ever improving roads network, delivery times to all destinations are constantly being reduced.