A survey by international transport engineering and consulting group SYSTRA, into the Port of Cork’s export and import facilities has yielded very positive results. Those surveyed, predominately LoLo HGV drivers, noted the Port’s desirable location, timesaving vehicle booking system, and efficient gate operations.
The forthcoming transfer of container operations from Tivoli to Ringaskiddy generated improved sentiment with positivity increasing by 42% since the initial 2015 survey. The redevelopment of Ringaskiddy and arrival of the new €80m Cork Container Terminal (CCT), Western Europe’s newest container terminal, garnered positive opinion as a “brilliant idea” with its “better location” from respondents. CCT will allow the port to handle larger vessels and facilitates the move from a river port to a deepwater port in order to future proof the Port of Cork.
The Vehicle Booking System (VBS), implemented in 2018 and a key component of the Port’s mobility management plan, was commended by 96% of respondents. Hauliers frequently highlighted the shorter turnaround times, and a substantial percentage observed reductions in queuing time. To date, the Port of Cork has invested over €1 million on trialling and implementing the traffic management plan with Cork County Council in order to minimise the impact of port related traffic on local road networks.
The survey also highlighted what hauliers would like to see improved. Most notably, there was a strong desire to reduce traffic congestion and to see the upgrade of the N28 motorway become a reality. The Port of Cork fully recognises these concerns, and will continue to fully support the relevant agencies to do what’s needed to unlock Munster and Ireland’s latent economic growth.
Capt. Paul O’Regan, Harbour Master and Chief Operations Officer of Port of Cork, commented: “The 2015 survey offered some real insight into areas of growth for us. Although we are pleased that our hard work has paid off in many areas, we won’t be resting on our laurels. The insights we’ve gained from this report will further improve our resiliency, and we remain confident that we can continue to manage the disruption stemming from Covid-19 and keep Munster’s supply chain moving.”
Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer of the Port of Cork added: “We’re pleased with the positive responses from hauliers who use the port regularly. The VBS results were a particular highlight. It has consistently reduced queuing, lowered emissions, and improved turnaround times. Technological innovations, such as VBS, are ensuring that we can safely and efficiently maintain the flow of essential goods to southern Ireland in these unprecedented times.”
SYSTRA was commissioned by the Port of Cork to undertake the survey at Tivoli docks in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the current container operations customer base, and to capture these customers’ views and opinions of Tivoli docks and the transfer of the container terminal from Tivoli to Ringaskiddy. A similar exercise was undertaken by SYSTRA in 2015.