Irish exports have fallen 50%, according to the IEA
Irish airfreight capacity has fallen by 50 percent between 2007 and 2011, according to a concerning report by the Irish Exporters Association (IEA).
The report, which was published with support from a number of aviation and development authorities in Ireland, is the first study of the Irish airfreight sector in over a decade. Findings, which also take into account figures for Northern Ireland, display that airfreight capacity (non-stop and multi-stop routings) leaving Irish airports amounted to 207,730 tonnes in 2007, a figure that has fallen to just 105,077 tonnes by 2011.
According to the report, Ireland must upgrade its air transport infrastructure in key life sciences and hi-tech sectors in order to prevent losing out on important export opportunities.
The study urges the Irish government to open negotiations with the U.S. authorities to provide a cargo pre-clearance facility for cargo at Shannon and Dublin, building on the existing passenger pre-clearance facilities at both airports.
John Whelan, chief executive of the IEA (left of photo), said: “World-class air transport infrastructure is an essential component of Ireland’s export capability, and will be essential if the country is to continue to be an attractive location for high value FDI.”
Exporters questioned for the study said pre-clearance by the Food and Drug Administration would encourage further expansion, underpinning the pharmaceutical and medical devices export sector, which are prominent exporters by air.
Major exporters highlighted the low quality of the facilities at cargo terminals in Ireland, with pharmaceutical exporters claiming that poor cold chain facilities limit future operations.
The study says airport authorities and the relevant logistics companies must invest in upgrading their facilities to competitive international standards. Charges for airport cargo handling services are out of sync with Europe and must become more competitive, according to the association.
The report also stresses the need to attract new carriers. ’’The fall in air freight capacity will only be addressed if the Irish Government devises innovative initiatives to incentivise new carriers to enter the Irish market, in addition to using all existing levers including new route incentives and air freight growth incentives,” said Whelan.
*Information taken from AirCargoWorld
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany