The Commission welcomes the implementation of one of the recommendations of the study of competition in the Irish ports sector
December 1, 2014
In 2013 The Competition Authority, now the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the Commission) published a study on competition in the ports sector which made a number of recommendations aimed at improving competition for the provision of bulk cargo-handling services in Dublin Port. Specifically, the report recommended that more self-handling licences should be made available to responsible operators on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.
The Commission welcomes today’s announcement that Dublin Port Company (DPC) has granted Irish cement producer Ecocem with a new self-handling licence. This will allow the company to handle its cargo in a more cost effective manner. Previously, Ecocem was required to hire one of the two licensed general stevedores to handle its cargo.
Cargo-handling makes up between 70%-90% of the total cost of moving goods through a port; therefore, ensuring that competition is working well is especially important. In addition to granting additional self-handling licences, the study recommended that DPC should issue at least two new general stevedore licences to handle bulk cargo in the common user terminal. The Commission would encourage DPC to issue new general stevedore licences, and indeed more self-handling licences, to further improve competition for cargo-handling services in Dublin Port.
The Commission believes that implementing this and the remaining recommendations will help to improve competition in the ports sector which plays a hugely important role in contributing to Ireland’s competitiveness and economic growth. The implementation of these recommendations will help to improve economic and consumer welfare in Ireland
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