There was strong support among members of FTA Ireland when Dublin Port’s Masterplan 2011-2040 was presented to its Council members earlier this week. Members of the recently formed multi-modal trade association – including some of the largest businesses in Ireland as well as prominent Irish transport companies – were keen to hear how it plans to cope with the expected rise in traffic volumes over the next 40 years.
Declan McKeon, FTA Ireland’s Head of Policy, said:
"Currently Dublin Port has to deal with around 30 million tonnes of goods being moved in and out of it every year. This will roughly double by 2040, so it is encouraging that the port operator itself is engaging with the industry and is open to our own ideas on what is required so the port remains fit-for-purpose."
As well as allowing for greater road and water connectivity, rail freight development must also be a factor in deciding future development plans.
"Improving the facilities in line with the expected growth in such things as unitized loads, roll-on, roll-offs and even the cruiser trade – which brings great income to the City – were all on the table for discussion."
FTA Ireland is now in the process of studying the Dublin Port Masterplan and will be discussing the details of its issue papers with members and other statutory bodies prior to responding to the consultation.
"Given the predicted growth of freight traffic and its importance to the local and national economy, we feel that it demands far greater consideration in a planning sense. Clearly, National Transport Authority and Dublin City Council will need to give far greater attention to improving transport links – not just in and around the port, but in terms of the surrounding areas including the eastern bypass and southern access to Dublin in general.
"With input from the likes of FTA Ireland members Virginia International and Caffrey’s International, who use the port on a daily basis, we are confident that industry will come up with practical and sensible solutions."