Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan T.D., and Minister of State Jack Chambers T.D., with responsibility for International and Road Transport and Logistics, have today published the Road Haulage Strategy Annual Progress Report.
The report details the progress that has been made in the implementation of the actions of the Road Haulage Strategy in the first year since its publication in December 2022. The report was launched by Minister Chambers at a meeting with stakeholders of the haulage sector to discuss challenges and opportunities in the sector, review progress made towards implementation of the strategy actions and to seek views on the priorities identified for 2024.
Minister Ryan welcomed the publication of the annual report and said:
"The Road Haulage and Freight sector is of vital importance to the function of supply chains in Ireland. In order to ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of the sector we must work with stakeholders to implement the actions presented in the Road Haulage strategy.
Important work is ongoing in my Department to decarbonise the freight sector. My Department has published the draft of the National En-Route Electric Vehicle Charging Network Plan and held the first meeting of a subgroup which will consider the charging infrastructure needs of Heavy-duty vehicles. These are important first steps as we work towards the transition of the sector to Zero Emission Vehicles. In addition, good progress has been made in 2023 on several supporting measures - in establishing a national Eco-Driving standard, examining the feasibility of Freight Consolidation centres and considering the development of a Longer Semi Trailer Trial."
Commenting on the publication, Minister Chambers said:
“I am pleased with the progress made in 2023 in implementing the actions contained within the Road Haulage Strategy. In particular, the establishment of the Road Freight Forum has formalised cooperation between the Department, its agencies and the industry. I am encouraged by the progress made by the Road Safety Authority on driving licence exchange agreements to help address the HGV driver shortage. The RSA have recommended that Ireland enter into a license exchange agreement with North Macedonia and they are finalising an exchange agreement with Georgia. In the longer term, the excellent work of the Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Group will continue to improve awareness of the sector and promote careers and education options to students, new entrants, and potential career changers. Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Week 2024 will take place from 26 February to 01 March next.
I look forward to hearing directly from the sector today on how we can best target our efforts in 2024".
The Road Haulage Strategy fulfilled a Programme for Government commitment to produce the first-ever Government strategy dedicated to the haulage and road freight sector. The strategy focuses on generating efficiencies, improving standards, securing jobs and helping the road freight sector move to a low-carbon future. The Road Haulage Strategy Annual Progress Report can be accessed here.