TPN Chairman, Owen Cooke, was interviewed recently by Simon Carswell for The Irish Times about Brexit preparation. Those interviewed for the piece include the Irish Exporters Association, the Irish International Freight Association, and ISME (Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association). All have expressed alarm at the lack of appropriate warehousing capacity available with a no-deal Brexit seeming more and more likely by the day.
“There is a very, very little capacity anywhere in the supply chain and October is the peak in general terms in all sectors so if there was a crash-out then, all hell would break loose.”
Renault Trucks Ireland delivered a new tractor unit to Independent Express last month as the first part of a fleet upgrade. Independent are investing €500k this year in new vehicles for the fleet.
The investment shows our commitment to growing and improving the business despite what could be a challenging year for Irish transport. Depending on how Brexit develops, there may be significant disruption for our customers’ regular routes and supply lines.
A former Independent Express driver has just earned his commercial pilot’s licence. Barry Mullen worked for Independent Express Cargo for 10 years as a driver in the Dublin area, and was one of the top drivers there. Customers loved him. We were well aware that he spent all his free cash on learning to fly.
When Barry sold his camper van to raise money for a commercial licence, we didn’t take much notice. We believed flying was a hobby, and Barry would continue to drive for us well into the future.
We could well understand why he loved flying, but when he came us to ask for a loan of €20,000 to cover his study, exams, and finals as a commercial pilot our first reaction was – why would we do this to lose our best driver? On reflection, we thought that if this guy in his mid-forties has the ambition and determination to follow his dream and go for this, that we should help him and not get in his way.
So we gave him the money and were not sure that we would ever get it back. But Barry made all repayment stages on their due dates. When he finally left to go into full-time training, the repayments kept coming.
We heard nothing for a year until last week, when Barry walked into our office in his flight suit – now a fully accredited pilot with Stobart Air, based in Cork and chartered to Aer Lingus.
Barry’s love of flying has not diminished now that it’s his job. As he commented, “I still can’t believe they pay me to do this”. He never said that about delivering pallets but who could blame him for that!