New Driver For IRHA As Eoin Steps Down

Verona Murphy has become only the second woman president of the Irish Road Haulage Association as Eoin Gavin of Eoin Gavin Transport, Depot 130, finished four years at the wheel of the industry’s guardian body.

“I will still be involved in running the Irha,” says Eoin, who completed two, two-year terms, “but I wanted to give someone else a chance to guide hauliers and lobby the government for fairer treatment for transport companies.I think my greatest achievement was bringing the Irha back to its former glory of being a major lobby group,it is the only representative of the haulage industry in government. In November 2013, our lobbying convinced the government to introduce a fuel rebate for every haulier,which put €4,000 per truck per year back into the haulier’s pockets.

“But there are still major issues to address, chief among them being a reduction in road tax and a change in the way hauliers are taxed in general. We also need to ensure paritywith foreign hauliers, our members are charged £10 everytime they cross the border into Northern Ireland, but UK-registered hauliers can enter the Republic free of charge.”

Verona Murphy is well aware of the needs of hauliers. “The biggest issue is road tax,” she agrees. “The government has not moved forward with the industry; transport law and the way the industry is taxed remains the same as it was in 1956. Tax is based on unladen weight, whereas in the UK, trucks are taxed on gross vehicle weight. In addition, there are 20 different types of trailers and the haulier has to know the weight each one might be expected to pull. Hauliers have to guess the weight, so are likely to get it wrong at least some of the time. Worse still, the law says each haulier has to be taxed based on its heaviest trailer ,even though the company might have a complete mix of vehicles.

“We feel the law is ambiguous and draconian. The IRHA has lobbied the government very hard for a review of roadtax. We want to see a €900 annual tax for artics and €500 tax for other vehicles.”

Other issues Verona wants to tackle during her term as president include the development of an apprentice scheme (see page 5), recruiting young drivers to replace an ageing workforce, and the introduction of an entry charge for UK drivers crossing into Ireland, in the hope the two governments would then cancel all charges for crossing the border.

Legislation should change, too, she says. “For example,”she explains, “after 12 points, a driver will lose their license – and that includes points incurred when driving their car, rather than a truck. A driver can get three points just for being one-half a kilometre over the speed limit. We want to see drivers able to amass 24 points before losing a license, to reduce the time points stay on a license, and to have two licenses – one for car drivers and one for HGV drivers.

Verona has 25 years’ experience in the industry and currently is a partner in Drumur Transport, Co. Wexford.  After starting off in farming, she bought a truck in 1993 and worked as a sole trader, driving both within Ireland and to Continental Europe, before starting Drumur Transport in 2010

TPN Book Launch

Owen Cooke from D102 - Independent Express being presented with the TPN book by Eoin Gavin IRHA

Pictured from left to right are : Catherine de Courcy – author of “TPN : 10 Years On”, Eoin Gavin – President of the IRHA, and Owen Cooke – Chairman of TPN.

The Pallet Network, Ireland’s largest freight distribution service for palletised goods, launched the book ‘TPN: 10 Years On – The Story of Ireland’s Largest Pallet Network’ on Saturday, 6th December 2014 at the Clyde Court Hotel in Dublin.

In the book, author Catherine de Courcy charted the history of each of the 23 member hauliers, and how The Pallet Network has grown ten-fold in the past decade in spite of the country’s worst ever recession.

The Pallet Network is a revolutionary business model, where hauliers work together to provide each other with an overnight nationwide service for palletised freight. Each of the hauliers works within their own territory. Members bring their freight to the sortation hub nightly and return with their fellow-members’ freight for delivery in their territory.

Seamus McGowan, Managing Director, The Pallet Network said: “We are delighted to launch this book, which is a celebration of ten years of the pallet networks and one of the few books ever to be published about the haulage industry in Ireland. Throughout the last decade, members of TPN have shown courage and determination in breaking the mould and changing the way the haulage industry works in Ireland. It is important we congratulate these members on the part they have played in the success of the network, as well as chart the human stories in an industry where history is not well documented.”

In the foreword to the book, Pascal Donohue TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said: “It is with pleasure that I congratulate TPN, The Pallet Network and all of its members on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the innovative transport network. The road transport industry carries out a vital function in Ireland, where the great majority of goods transported around the country are carried by road. Persevering through the challenging economic times, the Pallet Network has become an important participant in the sector, providing customers with a range of quality services. My Department is committed to supporting the road transport sector and I wish TPN, The Pallet Network every success with this publication and their future business.”

Next year, TPN will launch its new network, The Parcel Network. Applying the same model, they will provide an overnight delivery service to the 32 counties of Ireland.  TPN also forecast that there will be 5,000 pallets going through the network each night by 2018, and plans to start work on a third pallet handling facility.

SFA Awards Finalist 2014

We are pleased to announce that The Pallet Network is a finalist in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2014.  We have been shortlisted in the Services and Environmental Sustainability categories. The awards will take place in March 2014.  Keep your eye on national media outlet for more details.

Go Moylagh, go!

Moylagh GAA Team
Congratulations to Moylagh GAA, last friday night 20 Sept the team TPN Ireland sponsor – Moylagh won the county junior hurling championship beating Navan O Mahonys  by 3-16 to  6 points. We are delighted to be associated with such a hard working successful club. Well done to all concerned.


Supply Chain Awards 2013

TPN is the winner of Supply Chain Excellence in Transport and Distribution 2013

Supply Chain Award 2013Congratulations to all members of TPN for their success at the Supply Chain Awards winners of their category Supply Chain Excellence in Transport & Distribution 2013.

Dublin Staff Relay 2013

Dublin Staff Relay 2013 - IEC/Independent Express Team
Congrats to the three teams from TPN Independent Express Cargo and TSN  for their excellent achivement in the Dublin Staff Relay 2013. Everyone was delighted to meet Paul McGrath and complete the 25km per team.

Tuckmill Transport – Pallet Network Member of the Year 2013

Tuckmill Transport won TPN Depot of the Year 2013

Tuckmill Transport the TPN member for Wexford and South Wicklow has won the 2013 Pallet Network Member of the Year category at the recent Fleet Awards .

These are the only nationwide awards for the industry and it is a great achievement for Brendan Morgan and his team to have won this prestigious prize.

Congratulations  to all in Tuckmill on winning this excellent prize.

TPN Annual Awards 2012

Winning Depot of The Year 2012, Hyland Transport depot 113 Laois/Offaly. Congratulations to Ger, Avril and all their excellent team.

Fuel Rebate for Licensed Hauliers

Wednesday, 6 December 2012 was a red letter day for Ireland as Minister of Finance Michael Noonan announced the first ever essential user fuel rebate for licensed hauliers. The rebate, which comes into effect on 1 July, 2013, will be available to all ‘tax compliant’ hauliers driving vehicles over 7.5 tonnes, with the exception of own-account operators.”I am pleased to announce an additional initiative that will support small businesses in all sectors of the economy,” Noonan said. “Virtually all businesses in Ireland rely on cost effective transport for their inputs and their outputs. This transport is provided by hauliers, the majority of whom are small businesses. In order to assist the competitiveness of this key industry, I am introducing a rebate on diesel with effect from the 1st of July 2013.Although the amount of rebate has not yet been confirmed, civil servants have indicated it is likely to be around 7.5 euro cents per litre.”The administration of the rebate has yet to be worked out,” points out Seamus McGowan, TPN’s MD. “In some countries which already offer a rebate, such as Belgium and Spain, it is paid monthly or three-monthly, in arrears. Sometimes the rebate is paid annually.” However it is paid, the rebate marks the government’s recognition of the plight of the Irish haulage industry. “This is an unprecedented decision made in one of the worst economic crises Ireland has seen in modern times,” Seamus adds. “And even more amazingly, it is restricted to haulage – not to buses or farmers or any other group. It is all down to the strong and continued lobbying by the Irish Road Haulage Association and particularly its president, Eoin Gavin, head of TPN member depot Eoin Gavin Transport.

New TPN Member Donegal

TPN welcomes back Karl Lafferty Transport, our newest member, joining the network for the second time. Karl Lafferty Transport, new depot 120, covering County Donegal, first joined the network around six years ago, but left in 2008 after 18 months.”We stepped in to help out when TPN was looking for a depot in our area,” Karl explains, “but we never intended to stay long-term. Our business to Dublin and the UK was expanding and we needed our resources for that.”Now we see great opportunities in Donegal for TPN that aren’t being exploited and we think we can help the network benefit from these opportunities. In just four weeks we saw volumes grow to 30-35 pallets per night. We look forward to even more pallet business next year.”