Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, policy - congestion, organisation - management, place - urban, place - cbd, mode - bus


Urban goods movement, Traffic congestion, Supply chain management, Seaports, Logistics, Ireland, Gridlock (Traffic), Freight transportation, Exports, Export flow, Dublin (Ireland), Downtowns, Costs, City centers, Central business districts, Business logistics, Bottlenecks, Access


The crucial dependence on intermodal transport of an open island economy, where almost all external trade passes through the seaports, is examined. The rapid growth of the Irish economy puts great strains on the transport supply chains, particularly in the vicinity of the principal seaport in Dublin, where major congestion occurs. This adversely affects the competitiveness of small and medium-sized exporting companies. Increasing prosperity has resulted in an explosion in the numbers of private cars, which puts great strain on an inadequate internal infrastructure. A review of Irish ports confirms that congestion on the access routes to the Dublin port is the major bottleneck in the long transport chains for exporters. Relief from the freight traffic transiting the city center must await the completion of a dedicated port access tunnel, and interim solutions are needed. In the case of food exporters, globalization, the power of the retail conglomerates, and peripheral location demand a high level of supply chain efficiencies. A survey of export transport chains for selected products shows that transit costs can be a significant proportion of the total consignment value. At the level of the indigenous companies, supply chain management capabilities are shown to be below an acceptable standard in two-thirds of the firms surveyed. Possible solutions for facilitation of freight access in the vicinity of the port and for introduction of more sustainable solutions for goods deliveries in the historic city center are explored. Measures that can be taken to improve the logistics management capabilities in companies are also described.