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IRELAND\\\ >> 4


about whether the ports could


stream AEO and non-AEO traffic so that there could be a ‘fast track’.” Meanwhile, much work is


going on to ensure that things run as smoothly as possibly, especially in the Irish Sea ports. Greene says that Dublin has moved a lot of container- related activities out of the port to inland locations to free up as much space as possible for ro ro operations. However, he adds that


space at some locations is constrained, particularly Holyhead, and dealing with trucks whose loads have customs issues could be an issue. Only a few small hiccoughs could lead to kilometres of queues and this is a worry not just because of the delays that would result but because trucks carrying valuable or sensitive loads such as pharmaceuticals could be vulnerable if they are caught in a queue. A couple of days previously,


Issue 2 2019 - FBJ


favour of Immingham, where possible. Not IT-related but another


novel technology are trucks powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas). These are the best immediate prospect for ‘greening’ heavy trucks; their performance is close to that of a diesel-powered vehicle and the technology is in itself very usable, were it not for the fact that Ireland is almost totally lacking in LNG truck filling


stations, there being Dublin port is moving non-essential operations inland


Irish Ferries had launched the WB Yeats on the Dublin- Cherbourg


service and the


operator was also building a giant new vessel due to go into service on the Dublin/ Holyhead route in 2021. DSV Road is a major user of the direct ferry services between Ireland and the Continent and the proportion of its traffic


using these routes has been increasing – to around 50% of its non-UK, non-Scandinavian traffic. Greene could see it


further traffic to these routes – though not to the point that they compared with


those going up further still in


the event of a ‘hard’ Brexit. Although the direct services would probably never be viable for the more urgent groupage traffic, increased frequencies could attract some


on the shorter crossings to England, Wales and Scotland. In addition, DSV Road has been reviewing its use of landbridge services to minimise its use of the Dover routes- where the potential for disruption is highest -


in


just one facility in Dublin Port. However, Gas Networks Ireland is trying to get facilities installed in existing filling stations and it’s a project that Greene is keen to push ahead with in 2019. Unlike DSV’s home


Scandinavian region, there is little financial encouragement from the Irish or UK governments to invest in greener trucks, so the cost has to be borne by the operator. The cost of the vehicles and infrastructure doesn’t really outweigh the lower cost of LNG


5


fuel at the moment, though there are of course green credentials to be gained. DSV Road is pretty busy


at the moment, says Greene. “We do though see a shift from groupage to full or larger loads, which we think is due to stockpiling ahead of Brexit, both Irish and UK customers. And we’re getting constant requests for storage space north and south of the border.” The extra stockpiling


movements have in turn caused trade imbalances and led to empty running; the movement of larger loads goes against all the received supply chain wisdom of smaller, just- in-time deliveries of the past couple of decades. Moreover, quite what effect these built-up stocks will have on demand if, as many predict, they turn out not to be needed, is anyone’s guess. There could be quite a drag on demand as everyone munches their way through the accumulated stocks of cornflakes, baked beans and razor blades.


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