Business, Forwarding, Freight News, Logistics

Brexit breathing space would be welcome, says Irish freight industry

[ October 19, 2018   //   ]

FTA Ireland said it would welcome an extended Brexit transition period, following suggestions by UK Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday during negotiations with Brussels.

The Trade Association suggested that it should last at least one year, to allow the logistics sector to prepare for the future trading environment.

FTAI general manager Aidan Flynn, commented: “There’s growing concern that the inability of Brexit negotiators to reach an agreement will result in a No Deal Brexit – the worst-case scenario. And this uncertainty is leaving the freight distribution and logistics sector in limbo.

“At this stage, we should be discussing the length of the Brexit transition period in terms of years, not months. Most importantly, once we hit the start of the transition period – 30 March 2019 – we should know what we are transitioning into. As this is now looking unlikely, the transition period may turn into the new timeframe for the agreement of a future trade deal. It will also serve to encourage a speedier agreement on the future trading relationship, which will be beneficial for Northern Ireland and all island trade.”

He added that with trade in and out of Dublin Port growing by 4.7%, according to latest figures, the implications of Brexit on future trade flows between Ireland and the UK must not be underestimated, particularly for the just-in-time supply chain. While FTA Ireland welcomes initial preparation made by Dublin Port, most notably the investment in primary border control infrastructure, “it is vital that everything is done to ensure we have facilities that will enable ease of movement in to and out of the UK. Dublin Port – like most ports – has spatial issues, and adding additional infrastructure removes space that would otherwise be used for vehicles and this must be kept in mind.”

He concluded: “FTA Ireland would like to see a more joined up, strategic plan by Irish Ports. This includes Waterford and Rosslare –  these ports should explore sharing capacity to reduce the risk of delays and an over reliance on Dublin. After all, over 90% of all ro ro off traffic between Ireland and the UK is from Dublin Port.

“To become an attractive and viable port, Rosslare needs to introduce border inspection posts and improved facilities as a matter of urgency. In FTA Ireland’s submission to the European Commission’s consultation on amending Regulation 1316/2013, sea trade corridors have called on funding to be made available for Rosslare port, and FTA hopes to see this come to fruition.”

(More from FTAI in the Ireland report in the next printed issue of FBJ – FBJ 7 2018 due out late October.)


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