RHA members along with South West College recently hosted a group of twelve Dutch teachers, who specialise in Logistics and Transport from different colleges throughout Holland. This was part of a knowledge exchange trip on Transport and Supply Chain Management in light of challenges that Brexit has presented to Northern Ireland.
Throughout the week, the teachers visited Manfreight, McCulla (Ireland), Woodsides and WS Dennison, talking with each operator understanding their operation and how they each have navigated the NI Protocol. Each operator set the scene for the processes and changes they have introduced since January 2021 and what the future looks like going forward.
They learnt about the burden the bureaucracy and checks have on the certain sectors within the supply chain in Northern Ireland as well as the potential new technology being developed by business to alleviate some of the challenges. It was recognised that the haulage landscape in NI is quite different than that of Holland and this is intensified by the re-occurring lack of an NI Executive which brings its own separate challenges on future legislative considerations for the sector and business development.
The aim of the visit was to share real life business experiences and ideas with the students back in Holland, demonstrating a shared knowledge and understanding of the implications of Brexit, the complexities of Northern Ireland in the wider conversation as well as the obstacles faced by the wider supply chain.
Transport and Logistics is a very popular course in Holland that attracts a lot of interest from students throughout the country. The Dutch business community recognise the importance of securing correct pathways and provide shared learning opportunities developing the next generation of logisticians, this was mirrored by the businesses they visited in NI.
The teachers were very impressed by their weeklong tour with Jos van Kollenburg, MBO Studiereis saying: “We want to thank the RHA and its members for this opportunity to visit you, learning about your experiences with Brexit. This was important lesson for us all to take back to our students, thinking about constitutional change and its effects on business within the supply chain.”