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Issue 7 2020 - FBJ Ireland

to Ireland, he believes. “We’ve very

happy with volumes on the Zeebrugge service,” Mowlds declares. “They’re steadily increasing, and we’re putting in a lot of effort with the Belgian embassy to increase the service’s profile.” The vessels can

handle accompanied and unaccompanied trailers, containers and trade cars on a dedicated car deck. Mowlds hopes that the new

CLdN route will be the first of many direct links to the Continent from Cork. Another major service

development links Ireland to places even further afield. ICL’s new container service to Chester, Pennsylvania and Wilmington

in North

Carolina has seen volumes grow steadily, particularly among the Irish agri-food and beverage exporters. Prospects for the first

regular scheduled direct link from southern Ireland to North America within living memory have never been brighter, Mowlds considers. The Covid crisis has badly affected airfreight and a 10-13 day transit time looks increasingly attractive, given that it can take several days before a shipment can actually be loaded onto a US-bound flight at the moment. Even some of the more high tech sectors including pharma could be interested in the

the Cork authorities are very keen to see as a vehicle for regeneration of the inner part of the city. Enabling works for Marino

Point could start in 2021. A further project that will follow on is the redevelopment of

the current container

weekly service, says Mowlds. One other development that has been affected by Covid is the port’s new Cork Container Terminal (CCT) at Ringaskiddy. Like all construction sites across

Ireland, work was

affected for about three months but operations have now opened up again. Originally expected to open

some time towards the end of 2020, the second quarter of 2021 is now the most likely opening date, assuming there are no further shut-downs of the construction sites, Mowlds considers. Under the circumstances,

progress has been quite rapid, though, and the two primary cranes have been erected and work meanwhile continues on the rest of the project. CCT will increase the port’s capacity to 330,000teu a year

and give room for growth in boxes and vessels, allowing the port to maintain the current 5% annual growth in containers for years to come. It would open up Cork to panamax vessels of over 4,000teu, and bring further new deep-sea and other routes to the port. Work is also forging ahead

on the Marino Point area which is being developed to handle increased liquid and bulk traffics, as well as a large industrial land bank. The Port of Cork jointly with Lanber Holdings purchased Marino Point in 2017 and has since developed a master plan for the area incorporating a range of industrial and port related activities. As Mowlds explains, it will be

“a major facilitator of the move of commercial activities out of Cork’s City Quays,” something

terminal at Tivoli – once CCT is open. Development of Tivoli will focus on the extensive land bank for various uses, although it will remain operating as a commercial port for as long as it is needed. It too will contribute to the move of commercial activity out of City Quays and existing tenants will operate there until they have found a new home. Allied to the port

development schemes are road plans for Cork and the surrounding region including the planned M28 motorway. While this will be hugely important for the port’s long- term success, says Mowlds, it is important not to lose sight of the upgrade scheme for the R624 regional route. This gives access to Marino Point as well as other quayside activities including shipyards and the port has been working with the County Council on a potential upgrade plan, including dualling and replacement of an existing bridge. Meanwhile a new vehicle

booking system for the port will help reduce congestion and facilitate access on the existing road system.

///IRELAND New chief for Port of Cork

The Port of Cork Company has appointed Eoin McGettigan as chief executive, replacing Brendan Keating who has retired aſter 18 years. He takes up the position on 1 October for a term of five years. McGettigan has spent the last

decade providing strategic advice to a wide variety of companies and has held senior board positions in Irish retailer Musgrave as chief executive of Supervalu Centra, director of Dunnes Stores and director of Reox Holdings. Port of Cork Company chairman said: “Brendan

John Mullins

Keating made an outstanding contribution to the port as chief executive since 2002. Brendan has seen the port’s strategic development plan fully recognised: the acquisition of Belvelly port facility (formerly Marino Point), the inner harbour development

at Bantry Bay Port Company, the marked increase in cruise business and the commencement of construction of the €86 million Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy which will future proof the port. I have no doubt that

Eoin will now take these projects and the business forward to further enable our growing economy.”

with a vengeance

The overwhelming and completely unexpected Covid crisis may have diverted Irish politicians’ and logisticians’ attention for the past few months, but Brexit has forced itself back onto the agenda, says Aidan Flynn, general manager of FTAI Ireland, the country’s leading freight body. “It’s back with a bang,” he

confirmed. “The Government has recently published an action plan to get Brexit back on the agenda, which is very welcome.” True, there isn’t much that is

new in the report and, with the negotiations between the UK and European Commission dragging on, it is of necessity rather short of specifics in many areas. There is though welcome grant aid of up to €9,000 for companies that recruit or assign a dedicated member of staff to handle customs affairs. When FBJ published its last

Ireland supplement, in February, there seemed to be a reasonable amount of time for Irish companies to prepare for Brexit, but that was before Covid intervened. Now, in mid-October, the end of year deadline is very uncomfortably close. Hopes that the transition period might be extended in the light of the Covid crisis went unrealised. The lack of progress in the talks

between the UK government and EU has greatly disappointed FTAI and Irish business generally,

and Boris Johnson’s threat to

tear up an internationally-agreed treaty has done nothing for the UK government’s reputation. Everyone is hoping now that the UK government will not similarly rip up the Northern Ireland Protocol and impose a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. If there is anything certain

about the Brexit process, says Flynn, it’s that “whether there is a deal or not, there will be an additional administrative burden on the logistics industry and its customers”. He is also concerned that while the Irish government has put in place extra infrastructure at Rosslare and Dublin to cope with increased customs requirements and truck parking, “it is very concerning that this has not been replicated in Holyhead or Liverpool.” The growth of direct ferry and lo

lo services between Ireland and the Continent is encouraging of course, and could prove to be a “line of least resistance” for Irish business. It avoids the complications of customs and transit documents when using the UK landbridge and in many cases will make a lot of sense. The trend probably already was towards direct services and Brexit will have given it a sharp nudge forward. However, capacity on these routes is limited so some

10 >> Brexit is back

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