Shipping industry calls on Government to invest in infrastructure

Shipping industry representatives called on Government today to invest in port-road-rail infrastructure. Liam Lacey, MD of Irish Continental Groups (ICG) container division challenged the government “to provide leadership, and to implement the findings of its own reports on the sector, 14 of which have been published since 1990”. He was speaking at a seminar hosted by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO), which was held in Dublin Castle as part of the Marine Institute’s 10th Anniversary Conference.

Dublin Port CEO, Enda Connellan referred to a study currently being undertaken by the Government and the possible appointment of a regulator to oversee competition or privatization of ports. He noted that “Government policy should ensure that regulation adds value and does not increase costs to port users”.

Today’s seminar provided the first major forum to debate the future of Ireland’s shipping sector and raise government awareness of the sector’s importance to the Irish economy. The event was attended by over 100 key decision-makers in the Irish shipping and ports industries. Glenn Murphy, Director of the IMDO said “Continued investment and development in Irish ports and infrastructure is fundamental to the future growth and competitiveness of the Irish economy. In 2001 the Irish Shipping and Ports sector handled an estimated  €150 billion worth of goods, which represented 99% of all Irish imports and exports moving by sea.”

The panel of speakers included keynotes from Dr. John Mangan, Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force on Ports and Logistics, Mr. Enda Connellan, Dublin Port Chief Executive, and Steve Istvan, Supply Chain Director for Coca Cola (Atlantic Industries).

Mr. Murphy noted ‘the response to this event has been overwhelming, not only for the number attending, but the desire of senior management to be present.  As well as directors and chiefs in the Irish ports and shipping sector, the event has attracted interest from the senior management of major European shipping concerns, Irish government departments and representative associations.  All are keen to contribute to the debate and broadcast the importance of effective logistics to the international competitiveness of this country.”