Owned by Diageo, the move is part of a change by the Dublin brewery that is reported to be seeking to outsource all of its distribution and logistics business within a year. (Other Diageo brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Baileys, J&B, Captain Morgan, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Crown Royal and Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyard wines.)
The amount of Guinness draught moved by rail has recently dipped as much as 20%, according to some reports, while Ireland’s road network has been greatly improved. Too, as with any intermodal operation, trucks have been employed to move the kegs to the trains, then off-loaded and moved to final destination.
Reaction to the move finds reflection in some arguments familiar to those in U.S. transportation. Politics being not far from the issue, one Deputy, Michel Ring of County Mayo, in the western part of the country, claims that, “Diageo’s goods will now have to be transported by articulated lorries and this will clog our roads even further. The rail freight industry is a vital part of the country’s business infrastructure and, with proper investment, can provide new employment.”