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Irish Ports: P.E.S.T. analysis

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Introduction

P.E.S.T Analysis: Irish Ports The importance of Irish ports is due to the domination of maritime trade flow between Ireland and England and also the strategic location of Ireland . The Irish ports play a vital role in the national economy. In the last decade alone, the traffic through Ireland's ports has grown considerably. A PEST analysis (PEST is an acronym for: political, economic, social and technology) can help us understand the environmental forces which affect the Irish ports. Political factors: The first significant policy which affected the Irish port sector came in 1991 when the Government established a review group to examine the policy and the legislation governing commercial ports in Ireland. The review group's report noted that "Ireland's ports have been severely constrained in their ability to respond commercially because of the restricted legislation under which they operate". In 1996, thanks to the Harbours Act, the main commercial ports were corporatised. This gave them "the commercial freedom they need to be able to operate as modern, customer oriented service industries" (Report of the Review Group on Commercial Harbours and Pilotage Policy and Legislation, Government of Ireland, 1992). Moreover, the deregulation of European Airlines on April 1st 1997 and the success of the homegrown airline, Ryanair, have given consumers more choice and introduced stiff competition for the Irish ferries. Economic factors: Ports have an important impact in facilitating economic activity in their hinterland. ...read more.

Middle

Technological factors: Thanks to the new Vessel Traffic Information Management System (VTIMS), it is possible to monitor and record vessel movements and approaches, which increases vessel safety. So the operational efficiency of a number of ports has been improved. The continuous growth of the Internet influence and its importance has opened up a great possibility for Irish ports to advertise and sell their services. Developing a web site, all ferry companies are able to offer information about lines, time, price and so on, to all the customers, and also, allows the customers to book the ticket on-line sometimes giving them discounts on price. In my opinion, the main drives of change are mostly as a result of the various political issues discussed earlier. So the principal drive of change for the Irish ports has to be the Harbours Act. The Department of the Marine and Natural resources aim is "to enhance the effectiveness of Irish maritime transport infrastructure and services", to ensure the availability of efficient and viable sea transportation. The purpose of corporatised Irish ports is to improve, modernize and provide better port services in a commercial culture. The other driver of change is the deregulation of European airline that has enforced a change upon the ports. So port authorities have to examine how to increase their profits because of the growth of demand of both business and leisure customers for low cost and fast transport from Ireland and the UK and the other way round. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, when the business environment encounters a high level of uncertainty, which occurs from either complexity or rapid change or both, this may make it impossible to build a single view of how environment influences might affect an organization's strategy. Reading the article, titled "Irish ports" by J.Mangan and J. Cunningham, we are able to identify some different scenarios. "Over the last decade many multinational companies have located high-tech manufacturing facilities in Ireland..... In recent years there has been significant growth, in particular in exports of high-value products such as electronics and pharmaceuticals which are exported to diverse overseas location". New foreign companies will be attracted to Ireland in the services and technology sub-sectors. Port infrastructure will be fit for this purpose and operate efficiently; supported by technology investments. As I have already stated above, pollution will be an uncertain factor that can modify the future scenario. The pollution levels vary from the noise of cargo handling that disturb local communities, to the change of marine ecosystems. "Ireland will be fully compliant with the requirements of EU marine legislation and international conventions to which it is a contracting party, and will be able to demonstrate, through the compilation and regular publication of a suite of appropriate environmental assessments, the maintenance of a high quality marine environment. Ireland will have developed a marine brand identity, with a high quality environment and robust economy. This brand will form part of a marketing program for the seafood, tourism and other marine sectors" (https://marine.ie/NR/rdonlyres/82F7FDC4-A017-4EF6-BBE9-DDC308FB7155/0/section4_1_Environment.pdf). ...read more.

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