Export & Freight Feb-Mar 2017

Brexit remains firmly at the top of the industry’s agenda, with organisations like the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association among those expressing their concerns over how businesses will be impacted once life outside the European Union becomes a reality.

While that is several years away, the RHA stresses that the British government will have to ensure fluidity will be maintained through our ports for the trucks that provide a vital trade service. As the RHA’s Chief Executive points out, in the event of leaving the single market and the customs union, HM Customs will clearly need to have significantly greater resources than at present to avoid the potential for chaos and lengthy customs clearance delays.

With the prospect of only the Irish border separating Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK from Europe, concern about the future has also been expressed over
the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and
the Republic, although the industry can take some comfort from the fact that bodies like the FTA and RHA are already working towards addressing those issues.

Indeed, as you will read elsewhere in this issue, the FTA has drawn up five priorities for customs and border arrangements to help keep Northern Ireland and the UK trading post Brexit. Appropriately, FTA’s Transport Manager Conference in March in Belfast includes a session on Brexit and a presentation by the Secretary General of the British Irish Chamber on the possible implications of doing business between the north and south of Ireland and Great Britain.

To other matters now: also in this issue we highlight the more positive aspects of our industry. The van market, for example, has got off to a positive start
this New Year, and we have been hearing some encouraging comments from the Managing Director of Iveco UK & Ireland. In his annual State of the Nation address, he stresses that whatever the future holds, being adaptable and ready to move fast is what it’s all about, ‘because change gives rise to opportunity.’

How true! Meanwhile, on the shipping front, as you will read, business is clearly booming on the Irish Sea.

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