2021 Budget must help logistic sector navigate its toughest period – FTA Ireland

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Ireland’s logistics industry is facing its most challenging period and needs effective support from Government in the upcoming 2021 Budget, according to Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI), the business group representing the country’s logistics sector.

Commenting on the seriousness of the issue, Aidan Flynn, General Manager at FTAI, said: “With the COVID-19 pandemic, the driver shortage, climate change and the UK’s departure from the EU, there has never before been such pressure placed on supply chains and logistics in Ireland; this Budget must support industry during this challenging period. While the appointment in 2020 of a dedicated Minister of State with special responsibility for transport and logistics was an important step forward, the FTAI is calling for this role to be elevated to a full Cabinet position. This will be essential to support industry effectively, as well as to provide recognition of how important logistics is to the country’s continued economic sustainability and success. As an island nation on the periphery of Europe, if Ireland is to grow its global standing and become world leaders in logistics, more emphasis and support must be forthcoming from our Government.”

Within its pre-Budget submission, the FTAI is also calling for Government to improve driver facilities at ports, utilise Brexit Adjustment Reserve funds to subsidise the higher post-Brexit costs to hauliers of using direct ferry links with European ports, and allocate funding for hauliers to access training courses, on key operational areas such as customs and international distribution to third countries and movement of agri-foods.

“With the HGV driver shortage continuing to cripple Ireland’s supply chains, the FTAI is also calling for urgent action to alleviate the crisis, through measures including subsidised training for those wanting to join the occupation. The FTAI and its members are also aware of the industry’s climate action responsibilities; our members are leaders in delivering reduced emissions and operating in an environmentally friendly manner. As such, FTAI is also urging Government incentivise the take up of more environmentally friendly vehicles through fair and affordable pricing and ensuring effective refuelling infrastructure is in place across the country.”