Freight News, Sea, Road, Logistics, Business

Work smart to prevent delays, urges Dublin Port

[ December 15, 2020   //   ]

Dublin Port Company (DPC) has completed work to increase the capacity of its internal road
network and introduced new internal traffic management measures ahead of border controls on 1 January.

But it warns that even with the measures in place, all operators and port users have their part to play to keep trade flowing and ensure that extreme contingency plans are not needed in response to congestion.  This is especially so in the first 90 days of 2021.

The challenge for state agencies – notably Customs and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) – is to apply border inspection controls efficiently around the clock on six times the volume of goods that were arriving off ferries 28 years ago when the Single European Market removed the need for such controls.

It has built eight inspection facilities for Customs and DAFM at six different locations in Dublin Port.  However, the requirement for hauliers to move trailers between ferry terminals and these facilities will increase traffic levels within the port.

The port argues that greater separation between the arrival times of the Holyhead ferries would greatly reduce the risk of delays and congestion.

The collection of boxes from container terminals also needs to be scheduled by terminal operators, hauliers and cargo owners to reduce peaks and prevent excessive queues building on the port’s internal road network.

The improvements and changes are detailed in a new booklet, Six Key Messages for Hauliers.

Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company, Eamonn O’Reilly, commented: “There is huge infrastructural capacity in place and the challenge now is to use this efficiently to ensure that goods keep flowing. There is a simple and obvious measure of success and that is the ability of hauliers to provide their essential services without being delayed in Dublin Port.  The six key messages we have published are intended to help achieve this objective.  Delays because of Brexit border checks are inevitable, but congestion is not.”

He added that the port had recently seen two of the busiest months ever for unitised trade and traffic has flowed smoothly into and out of the port, despite continuing road works. O’Reilly added: “ Now that the road works are complete – and even with the introduction of border controls in January – there is no reason why traffic should not continue to flow freely so long as all supply chain operators play their part.

“The closeness in the arrival times of ferries from Holyhead is an obvious cause of concern in January and brings with it the risk of delays being increased to the point of congestion on the road network within Dublin Port.  We have asked the two ferry companies operating the Holyhead services to bring the arrival time of the first ship in each of the four daily waves forward and to bring the second ship in somewhat later in order to flatten the demand curve for incoming HGVs.  In making this request we guaranteed to the ferry lines that they could return to their current slot times at any time during the first 90 days after the new border controls come into place.  Disappointingly, one has refused our request and the other has yet to respond.”

He said it was  important for hauliers and cargo owners  to know how long the different types of checks by Customs and DAFM will take so that they have some sense of the delays they will face and are able to plan their operations accordingly.