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National Timber Transport Conference

Managing Timber Transport - Challenges and Solutions

Forest Industry Transport Group in association with Teagasc and Forest Service, DAFM

Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co Westmeath

Background

Irish forests –north and south– now cover 850,000 hectares. Economic activity associated with forestry is worth over €2 billion per annum. Within two decades total timber production will reach 7.9 million cubic metres – more than 4.5 million cubic metres produced in 2014. Almost all of this increase will come from the harvesting of private forests.

Maximising timber mobilisation is critical to realising the full economic value for all forestry stakeholders. Managing timber transport effectively from forest to market is a key link in the forestry chain to determine wood mobility and support the expansion of a sustainable timber processing sector.

Programme

  • Opening address – Andrew Doyle, TD, Minister of State with responsibility for forestry at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Session 1: Challenges

Chair: Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)

Session 2: Solutions

Chair: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS)

Forest Industry Transport Group (FITG)

The Forest Industry Transport Group (FITG) was established in 1999 to provide a mechanism for sharing ideas and best practice on timber haulage issues. This is a voluntary partnership which brings together the forestry sector and Local Authorities and Government Departments and other stakeholders with the aim of ensuring that the timber industry can access and market the timber resource in a sustainable way with minimal impacts on the public road network, local communities and the environment. The group has previously published the Code of Practice, ‘Road Haulage of Round Timber’ in 2005 and ‘Managing Timber Transport, Good Practice Guide’ in 2014.

In recent years, the group has has made submissions to relevant bodies on gross vehicle weights increase, agreed routes for timber haulage, on variable tyre pressure systems and on timber load security. Membership of the group is by invitation of the committee and the number of representative organisations has increased over time.

Organisations currently represented on the FITG include: Coillte, DAFM, DTTAS, IFA, IFFPA, ITC, LGMA, Teagasc, UCD and WIT. All work is voluntary on the part of individuals or representative organisations that contribute to the FITG.

Further information about FITG can be obtained from: Chairperson: John Lyons, john.lyons@coillte.ie, Secretary: Fionán Russell, fionanptr@eircom.net