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Set Sail & Change Tack!

03 May 2018

Mairead McConnell

It has happened…  Finally, the never ending winter of 2017/2018 has started to thaw!!  Now with a “spring” in our step and a healthy glow on our faces after a glorious weekend of sunshine, this seems like the perfect time to look ahead and plan for the unreliable Northern Irish Summer ahead!  But before we discuss our holiday plans, let’s reflect back on the issues the cold spell has brought to our transport and logistics industry, the demands it brought to our supply chain & logistic professionals and how they pushed ahead and worked through what seemed like impossible conditions.

With one of the stormiest winters recorded in over a decade we have felt the winter chill for months now, enduring four storms in January alone.  Storm Eleanor, Fionn, David and Georgina have all tried to bring havoc to the North of Ireland and after the wind, always came the bitter ice and snow, not to mention flooding and fallen trees!  But did this stop our logistic professionals from delivering?  Certainly not!

Exports from Northern Ireland grew by 9.3% in 2017 accounting for a whopping £8.6 billion market value to the Economy. Exports to the Republic of Ireland was the strongest contributor, and while or exports to America fell, our exports to Canada rose by a highly impressive 32.9%. 

Our Imports were also on the rise, increasing by 7.7% across the last 12 months.  Again, in this market most imports came from the Republic of Ireland rising 5.7% from last year.  Although our imports from America also decreased, we’ve seen our imports from China, the Netherlands and Germany soar.

So with all of this activity happening in Northern Ireland, is the transport and logistics Industry ready to kick back and enjoy the sunshine or, after Brexit, do we run the risk of being left out in the cold? 

After having to reschedule due to a heavy snow fall in March 2018, The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Northern Ireland held their Annual Gala Dinner in the Titanic Belfast Friday, April 20th 2018.  I took this opportunity to find out how professionals within supply chain & logistics felt about the turbulent Brexit waters ahead.  While nobody within the industry wishes to enjoy the sun from their lorry cabs in a long queue of traffic to cross a hard border, the majority within the industry seems convinced that Northern Ireland’s transport and logistics industry can withstand any storm.  Come what may, our leading logistic providers will continue to endeavor to make Northern Ireland a hugely successful and economically strong country. 

With salaries across the transport and logistics industry starting to rise, there has never been a better time to set sail and change tack in your career!  With Transport Managers earning £30-£40,000pa, Transport Planners earning £20-30,000pa and new entries to the industry starting on £18-20,000pa there has never been a better time to consider a job in this sector.

I am currently recruiting for a Transport Manager in the Antrim area and I have a number of Despatch Manager roles also available.  For a confidential discussion on Transport & Logistic jobs currently available with Brightwater NI please call me on 028 9032 5325 or email m.mcconnell@brightwaterni.com