Issue 8 2020

The state of the logistics, warehouse, and supply chain industry at the moment is one of uncertainty, and certainly one that no-one could have foreseen. Despite having come through the last recession with great performances and a superb 2019, Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd is all too aware of the unprecedented degree of uncertainty posed by COVID-19. The current situation with this worldwide pandemic, combined with the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the increased international trade tensions make for tumultuous waters that the firm must navigate. All of these factors will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the economy’s performance moving forward, and the performance of the firm itself. That being said, Ireland’s international trade has managed to reach new heights in the past few years. The value of goods exported has increased by more than eight percent in 2019, on a very strong 2018 result. Strong export performance is good for the freight industry. Alongside the fact that imports also increased, there is an encouraging outlook for the future beyond COVID-19, but Brexit still remains a mystery to many. In spite of the challenges that this industry faces along with so many others, there are sector-specific trends that Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd has been able to take notice of and work into its procedures and practices. For instance, in dealing with many multinationals, which is a large part of its business, the firm is now an integral part of their organisations supply chain to the point where it not handles and controls the majority of the global volume from the office in Dublin. International trade tensions might affect cross-trade traffic, such as Trump’s tariff war with China and Japan. This in turn is putting more pressure on the freight industry to provide quality service at more competitive pricing in a market that is already seeing pressure on freight rates and increased fuel costs. Despite it becoming more and more difficult, Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd is consistently meeting and exceeding its customer’s expectations. For Brexit, the firm is also prepared from both a personnel and systems perspective. Being fully AEO-accredited will no doubt play a huge role in helping the firm and its customers. Ireland may be a small market, but an extremely competitive one with a lot of the global forwarders having a presence there. What sets Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd apart from its competitors in such a crowded field is the personal service it offers. It played a factor in getting the firm through the last recession, and it will continue to be a factor in any future success as it overcomes Brexit and the spread of COVID-19. Technology has continued to evolve and with it, the evolving role it plays in logistics, warehousing, and supply chain industries all over the world. Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd is no exception, and has always been at the forefront of using the latest technology for trade facilitation. Faster customs means faster trade, and that equals better business. The firm is continuously upskilling its staff with the latest systems and software technology, whilst also investing in ongoing staff training with all its systems, be they customs formalities, warehousing, track and trace, or delivery of goods. That same technology also makes it handy to stay ahead of emerging industry developments and regulatory changes. New regulations and developments sometimes replace existing ones, and sometimes they add more layers of compliance complexity. At Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd, the firm makes it a habit to regularly visit websites that post updated standards for the industry and provide regularly updated information on regulatory standards. As a member of various international trade groups and associations connected with the industry, the firm has to remain up to date, and is often provided with early warning indicators of upcoming regulatory changes. Staff are invited to attend regulatory compliance training sessions and seminars, as well as participate in conferences. That technology that was mentioned earlier also comes in helpful, with compliance and risk management software that help automate policy-related processes. Staff are integral to the function of any business, and Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd has always operated with the philosophy of creating a work environment that makes employees feel like an asset to the company on a daily basis. The environment is open and honest, where employees are granted excellent opportunities for them to grow and learn within the organisation. Armed with knowledge and expertise granted to them, the staff can then ensure that the personal service and direct communication enables customers to provide their clients with accurate and efficient information. It is these staff that the firm invests in that has made it what it is today; a specialist in delivering on customers’ needs whilst constantly striving for improvement. Today, staff understand who the customers are, what they want, and then set about going above and beyond to ensure the company and its services stand out from the crowd. Every member of staff is prepared to adapt to changing times, whether that be markets, technology, or consumer behaviour. A business that keeps its finger on the pulse will be more ready to react to such rapid changes, enabling it to stay ahead of competitors, and that is exactly what Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd aims to do. However, it is not just the firm that the staff give everything for. In 2020, the firm and its staff have pledged to support Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, with all their customs clearance needs. Aoibheann’s Pink Tie is an exceptional local charity that helps children fighting with cancer, supporting their families along the way. From an environmental standpoint, the team at Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd are very conscious of the responsibility that this generation has to combat climate change. The office in Dublin is working to become a paperless office, by updating systems and working with clients and agents to move to electronic submission of paperwork via EDI or spreadsheet. Some of the staff have chosen to work from home in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint, and staff are also encouraged to participate in volunteer work. Giving back to the communities around Dublin is important and can help with personal development and the approach to both life and work. Taking care of oneself is important, and Irish Shipping & Transport understands this. In a bid to improve the mental health and wellbeing of its staff, there are a number of initiatives it has started, such as becoming a dog-friendly workplace day once a week. Overall, the future is bright for Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd. Year upon year, the business has continued to grow for more than three decades of success. It has diversified its services and developed new strategies to become even more effective in the market it serves so diligently. As the expansion continues into many different and new markets with numerous customers all over the world, there is excitement brewing at the firm. The direction of Brexit and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic may still be felt for a while yet, but that is not enough to dampen the spirits. Despite the widespread trade ramifications for the industry, on top of the broader global supply chain impact and disruption that the US negotiations with China are having, Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd stands as a beacon of excellence. With upskilled staff, revamped technology systems, paperless transitions, regulatory updates, and tailored solutions, Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd is undoubtedly one of the finest companies at work in Ireland today. Company: Irish Shipping & Transport Ltd Contact: Conor Marron Website: