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Displaying items by tag: Irish Hauliers

Lorries creating long tailbacks at English Channel ferry ports caused by Brexit stockpiling has cost Irish transport firms lost time, heavier overheads and valuable delivery slots, industry insiders said.

Irish lorries have been caught up in road-side “stacking” of vehicles over the past week and logistics businesses fear that traffic gridlock around the Kent ports of Dover and Folkestone and at Calais in France are a foretaste of more severe disruptions once Brexit checks start in January.

Laurence O’Toole, managing director of Co Galway-based O’Toole Transport, said he had to hire extra drivers in the UK for next-day deliveries of seafood from Ireland and Scotland to France because of seven-hour delays at the ports.

This has added costs of up to 40 per cent and reduced productivity at his firm, which transports produce to and from a major seafood distribution hub in Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France.

Further reading from The Irish Times here. 

Published in Ferry

The Government has been urged by the Irish Road Haulage Association to help set up a fast, direct daily ferry service with continental Europe for lorries to avoid post-Brexit disruption on the UK transit route.

Eugene Drennan, the president of the industry group, has called for Government intervention to secure supply routes with continental Europe by establishing a fast, daily ferry service for lorries, preferably into the French port of Le Havre, supported initially with subsidies.

The association has requested financial support for hauliers using a direct ferry service to cover any higher costs from using the longer, more expensive route and to designate new, faster ferry services as public service obligation (PSO) routes for at least a year.

Mr Drennan said political and logistical challenges thrown up in recent weeks show Ireland’s “extreme vulnerability” to maintaining dependence on the so-called land bridge through the UK to gain access to EU markets.

More on this Irish Times story here

Published in Ferry

#ferries - Representives from Irish hauliers the Journal.ie reports, have said that the no-deal Brexit test run at the Port of Dover was too little too late, and wasn’t representative of how bad the tailbacks could be.

On Tuesday, the UK government paid truck drivers to take part in a test of how one element of trade would be handled in the event of a no-deal.

The Port of Dover is Europe’s busiest ferry port, and is the second busiest in England; its cargo terminal handles 300,000 tonnes of freight annually.

A no-deal Brexit would see additional custom and regulatory checks at ports and airports, and possibly along the Irish border unless the Good Friday Agreement supersedes no-deal Brexit arrangements.

But the test was criticised as “a waste of time” and not accurate to how bad the traffic would actually be in the event of a no-deal.

Click here for more including a response from the Irish Freight Association. 

Published in Ferry

#Ports&Shipping - According to the Irish Examiner, a hard Brexit will cost the haulage industry €180m a year, or €40 per hour for every truck, in additional costs, warns the sector’s main representative body.

Irish Road Haulage Association president Verona Murphy told the Oireachtas budgetary oversight committee the sector has “no buffer against Brexit”. Increasing the cost of diesel to bring it in line with petrol will devastate the industry, she said.

More than 47,000 people are employed in freight transport, distribution, and logistics in the Republic, accounting for 2.5% of total national employment.

For more on this story, click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#IrishPorts - There are growing calls writes the Irish Examiner for additional funding to be given to ports to improve connectivity to continental Europe following Brexit.

Speaking at a joint Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) and Rosslare Europort conference in Wexford, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan said that Brexit will happen and that its final model was the only question that remained.

He called for a doubling of capacity at Rosslare, and for all ports to examine capacity, adding the forthcoming EU regional policies from 2021 to 2027 represented an opportunity for funding for which the Republic must be ready.

President of the IRHA, Verona Murphy said that because the Europort in Rosslare represents the shortest sea route for goods and passengers to continental Europe, it was ideally positioned to expand and grow in a post-Brexit scenario.

For further reading click here.

Published in Irish Ports

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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