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The Irish economy experienced a tremendous increase in economic growth during the 1990s and early 21st Century (Celtic Tiger). This economic boom was export driven and the Irish Road Haulage Industry transported the majority of products produced at some stage, if not a number of stages in the logistics tunnel. In recent times there has been somewhat of a growing unease in the road haulage industry in relation to increasing costs, squeezing already tight profit margins. A report commissioned by the Department of Public Enterprise illustrated that 48% of hauliers identified themselves as needing training in the area of cost calculation (Indecon, 1999). As a result, many hauliers are unable to accurately analyse costs; this can lead to incorrect management decisions in relation to pricing and rate setting, with the potential to significantly erode profitability levels. The Indecon report stated, “this is an area where there is very little information in the industry”(Indecon, 1999: 95). This research attempts to analyse current costing practices/models in the Irish Road Haulage Industry in order to improve understanding of the current capabilities of Hire and Reward operators in relation to financial management. The first step of the research methodology was an intensive search for pertinent literature, from which a limited amount of information was obtained. Primary research was undertaken through the use of a structured postal questionnaire. Empirical evidence of the current financial management capabilities of Irish road haulage hire and reward operators obtained from the research instrument is contrasted and compared with the 1998 EU Directive 98/76/EC stating the current minimum competency levels in order to gain a certificate of professional competency (OJEC, 1998).
Plant, E., Allen, D., Sweeney, E.: An Examination of EU Directive 98/76/EC in Regards to the Irish Road Haulage Industry. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Irish Academy of Management (IAM), University College Dublin, September, 2003.