Tuesday 13 December 2011
Trade and Transport Analysis Show Trade Freight Volumes through our seaports and airports are still down 9% on pre-recession levels in 2007
The Irish Exporters Association launched its Trade and Transport Analysis 2011 today (13th Dec) in Cork and its findings confirmed that 2010 was a story of recovery after two straight years of decline in 2008 and 2009. Importantly, the recovery trend has not continued into 2011, and exporters fear that shipping lines may not be able to continue the service levels they need to meet new market requirements.
Speaking at the launch of the Trade and Transport Analysis 2011 at the Port of Cork, Mr John Whelan, Chief Executive at the Irish Exporters Association, said that the analysis shows;
• export volumes have now returned to the pre –recession levels
• but import volumes are still 12.9% below 2007 levels. The analysis further shows that airfreight imports are down by 36% indicating a dramatic loss in high value luxury imports, whereas sea-freight imports are down by over 9%, reflecting the depressed domestic economy.
Mr Brendan Keating, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Cork, welcoming exporters to the launch event stated; ‘’A 9% increase in exports are expected through the Port of Cork during 2011, which is very positive for the region.’’
He went on to say the Port of Cork is committed to supporting the growth of international trade and meeting the needs of exporters and importers of goods , particularly from the distant but rapidly growing Asian and South American markets . He also pointed to the Ports commitment by sponsoring the Deep Sea Shipping Award with the Irish Exporters Association. He concluded by saying; “The Port of Cork is happy to be associated with the Irish Exporters Association in producing the Trade and Transport Analysis 2011.”
“The growth in exports volumes to pre –recession levels reflects the rapid’ V ‘ shaped bounce back by the export sector which was achieved despite the depressed international economic environment,” said Mr Whelan. However, he went on to say, the continued low volume of imports is inevitably putting huge strain on the shipping lines and airfreight lines servicing the country. “Exporters are concerned that the continued loss of volumes will lead to a deterioration of competitive services from shipping lines and haulage contractors, less revenue for ports and ultimately higher transport costs for our manufacturing export sector.”
He further stated; “Major job losses in manufacturing industry will accelerate unless a new integrated transport strategy is put in place to enable Irish exporters to effectively transport key imports from the major Asian supply industries into Ireland and manufacture and distribute exports into Europe and America as well as back to Asia.”
John Whelan then said; “In this context exporters find it befalling that in the recent Budget that added costs were put onto the transport sector without making allowances for the export sector . Once again we are asking the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar T.D. to introduce a Special Diesel User Rebate to support transport and export industry to ensure we have a level playing field in Europe with competitors from other EU member states who enjoy this kind of support from their governments.”
The publication launched today, sponsored by the Port of Cork, looks in detail at all of the various modes of transport that are currently used to export and to import. The publication also looks at the risk factors to Irish trade which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. High up on that list is the lack of regular air freight routes into and out of Ireland which accounts for 37% by value of all exports or almost €33 billion were carried by air in 2010. However, this may not be the full picture because the CSO figures only indicate the mode of transport used to move the goods across the border of the Irish state and does not take into account which mode of transport is used after that point. It therefore seems likely that the figures for air freight quoted above may in fact not reflect the total potential airfreight value as it is likely that a proportion of air freight is leaving Ireland by other modes in order to be air freighted from hubs in the UK or continental Europe to their final destination.
Mr Whelan concluded by saying that Ireland must continue to reinforce its existing strengths as one of the most open and globalized economies in the world (currently ranked Number Two on the Ernst & Young Globalization Index). “We must build on our progress so far by effectively resolving our transport challenges in an imaginative way and with a strong sense of urgency and determination.”
He thanked Port of Cork for their continued valuable support to the export industry.
For further Information Contact: John Whelan
Irish Exporters Association
Telephone: 087 9271243
Commercial Marketing Executive
Port of Cork Company
Custom House Street
Tel: +353 (0) 21 4625 375
Mobile: +353 (0) 86 1044011
Fax: +353 (0) 21 4276 484
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