Page 41 - Linkline Yearbook 2018
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encourage predictable behaviour by states and the peaceful settlement of disputes’. To do this they hint that possible solutions would be the adaption of schemes such as the Approved Economic Operator (AEO) programme which will be vital to ensure a ‘trusted trader’ scheme that will result in minimum levels of friction and delays at borders.
For this to work in the context of Ireland-UK trade, all in the supply chain must participate in it at some level to achieve the ‘trusted trader’ outcome to satisfy the principal. “This will be a very optimistic task,” argues Aidan Flynn. “If a transition period is not agreed - AEO accreditation takes time to achieve, up to six months and often longer, and to date there are just over 130 companies in Ireland registered to the scheme. For a pure workable ‘trusted trader regime’ to be viable all in the supply chain must be active and willing participants, and there will need to be mutual recognition of the scheme between the UK and the EU. Reality is beginning to bite, collaboration within the supply chain to develop industry wide solutions and prepare for change are vitally important.” “There is an opportunity for the Irish Transport and Logistics sector to grab the initiative and pre-empt the inevitable, that is, start preparing for a future that will require more transparency around the driver, vehicle, load, pickup and delivery locations etc. Doing this will at the very least ensure you are operating to the highest standards of professionalism and compliance and that this is demonstrated through attainment of independent standards that are periodically audited. This is part of what ‘trusted trader’ is all about, another part is that the supply chain is linked together in terms of the rules and requirements for doing business.”
The unfortunate reality of Brexit is that there are a plethora of new processes and terminology that most in the industry were vaguely aware of but now must fundamentally understand, study and implement. “For solutions and responses to be effective,” says Aidan, “both industry and Government must work together to make sure the issues are understood and that solutions such as resourcing of new skills and new systems are planned for. They must be all inclusive and give everyone a fair chance to trade within the new rules. AEO could very well be part of a solution and must be considered. What can be done now is distributors can review and audit their current levels of operational compliance to roadworthiness issues, tachograph and driver hours. Manufacturers can review the impact WTO rates will have on their product, they can also review where they are exporting or importing from and shippers can work with both to make sure everyone is on the same page and planning to have the least disruption to accessing vital markets on time.”
Every link in the supply chain must work collaboratively to develop strategies to prepare for Brexit Day. Most importantly companies should be preparing case studies of the impact Brexit will have on their businesses and sharing this information with trade associations, representative bodies, Government officials, local politicians and EU representatives.
“Time is moving on,” says Aidan Flynn, “and one wonders if the significance of the deadline date is really sinking in with industry. It is vitally important that there is a clear understanding of the nature of the exposure on businesses and jobs for our industry now.”
   Aidan Flynn, FTA
Invest in Education
The transport and logistics sector currently faces a serious skills shortage across all levels which hinders progress and makes dealing with change extremely difficult. A real way to deal with change is to invest in training and education. Even without Brexit investment in training and education is urgently required. There are some key issues the industry needs to confront so that it is better prepared. Why is there is a skills shortage in the first place? The industry is on the verge of the biggest shock to the supply chain in decades and on the cusp of an automated revolution. Getting people interested in a career in transport and logistics is of vital importance and should be actioned straight away. Training and education, up-skilling and continuous professional development must become the norm, not the exception. Industry must really commit to adding value to careers in their companies and making them more attractive to young people. There are a number of existing initiatives available now that can make a real difference in future proofing your business. Support Apprenticeship programmes (which must be industry led) by matching employees into positions that fit in with available apprenticeships. If they are not there yet share your requirements with the likes of the CILT or FTAI or other associations and review options.
Apprenticeships are ideal for our sector and a viable solution to help add value and direction for the participant. Apprenticeships help form a culture of progression within industry that will ultimately result in a better skilled workforce.
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