Issue 2 2019 - FBJ

Sandford Freight holds its own in a cut-throat freight market

Ireland is an ultra-competitive freight market, says Brian Falvey, managing director of Dublin-based Sandford Freight. Its smallness hasn’t prevented the big global forwarders from targeting it, and there have always been a larger number of small and medium-sized forwarders. “Even after the financial crash, the smaller firms held their own, and most of them seem to have survived,” he explains. In such a competitive market, inevitably, “margins

are getting lower and lower”. Often, the big players will try and steal market

The smaller forwarder’s share by

coming in with very low rates, he says. Sandford Freight though

is holding its own and has survived by offering a more personal service than the bigger players. Falvey thinks nothing of jumping on a plane and going to see potential or existing customers in Asia or the US and: “Even in this age of emails and technology, it makes a big difference.”

personal touch also comes into play when things go wrong, as they inevitably will from time to time in international trade. For instance, when a road shipment from Ireland to Sweden got held up in Holland, Sandford Freight intervened and got it on a plane to destination. “It cost us money, but it was much appreciated by the customer,” says Falvey. Since Falvey bought the

company ten years ago (Sandford Freight in Ireland

is a separate entity from the similarly-named operator in the UK), it has developed niches in areas such as pharma and agri-food. It is also AEO-accredited

which will be a help at the end of March when the UK exits the EU. Sandford Freight isn’t wholly dependent on the UK landbridge,

are plenty of direct flights from Dublin to destinations in North America, Asia and the Middle East and there are direct ferry and truck options too.

Food retail logistics specialist Oakland International has settled well into its new Food Central site north of Dublin Airport since moving there in February 2018, reports general manager

in Ireland, Richard

Hill. He says that the new site

offers 25,000sq ft of storage and a 200-pallet freezer, mirroring the existing operations in the UK. Also: “It’s close to the retailers’ distribution centres and also the port and the port tunnel, and we can serve the whole of Ireland from here” he explains. Traffic coming off the ferries in Dublin can be at Oakland’s site within an hour. Oakland International has

retailers with a range of services at Food Central, including tempering of chilled foods to maximise shelf-life, date coding and so on. Oakland also has a consolidation service, allowing it to send suitable quantities of food to retail stores the length and breadth of the country. The site can also be easily by a further


20,000sq ft in the near future and the company has also bought a piece of land for future growth. “Our market has grown,”

adds Richard Hill, “although our priority recently has been to make a success of the move to the new site.” There has lately also been

now moved totally out of its

previous site at Ashbourne, to the north-west of Dublin, and

now concentrates wholly on the food sector. The company provides

an upsurge in enquiries from business people worried about the impact of Brexit, although no one has actually gone to the lengths of hiring storage space for the post-Brexit period.


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opens Dublin station

Temperature controlled packaging specialist Peli BioThermal has opened a new network station and service centre in Dublin, Ireland to service, repair and condition its reusable Crēdo on Demand equipment. It is located in Harristown, next to Dublin Airport.

All the world’s top 10

BioPharmaceutical companies and 14 of the world’s top 15 medical technology companies have operations in Ireland according to Ireland’s Investment Development Agency, with Dublin a key hub for manufacturing and distribution.

Peli Bio Thermal however. There


Bright outlook for Stena as

Forecaster goes to Belfast – Liverpool

Stena Line has transferred the Stena Forecaster from its Stena RoRo chartering arm and will enter service on the Belfast - Liverpool route from 12 February 2019. The existing ferry, the Stena Forerunner will transfer back to the Rotterdam- Killingholme route. Stena Forecaster will make

two departures daily Monday to Friday, offering 3,000 lane metres, and will partner the two ro pax vessels Stena Lagan and Stena Mersey on the Belfast- Liverpool route.

Trade director Irish Sea North,

Paul Grant, said: “This is another important step in our expansion programme for our ‘diagonal corridor’ services to and from Belfast.

Stena Forecaster will

help us continue to deliver a reliable and high-quality service to our freight customers.” He added that the vessel

would also help to boost capacity ahead of next year’s introduction of the first of two new, larger E-Flexer ships currently under construction in China.

Ulysses back from Merseyside odyssey

Irish Ferries’ MV Ulysses returned to Dublin on 13 February following a four- week dry docking at the Cammell Laird yard on Merseyside. The work includes

new propellers, rudder components, refurbishment of the stern thruster and other underwater works, along with engine overhauls and vehicle deck painting.


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