REPORTS on Monday of talks between Shannon Group and Amazon caused some excitement locally, and while it is understood that there have indeed been discussion, no decision to go ahead with such a development is expected in the very near future.
However, on Monday a spokesperson for Shannon Group acknowledged that there are plans for a new landside/airside cargo facility to be sited at the airport. “Shannon Group is uniquely positioned in that it has a significant supply of landside/airside development sites suitable for distribution of goods by both air and road. Shannon Group has delivered 1 million sq ft of new and refurbished aviation, office and manufacturing property solutions in the last five years and attracted new tenants such as Jaguar Land Rover, Edward Lifesciences and MeiraGTx to the Shannon Free Zone. Shannon Group’s commercial property company, Shannon Commercial Properties, has just kicked off the next phase of their development strategy for Shannon Free Zone where they propose to develop 140,000 sq ft of new warehousing, distribution, and manufacturing space.”
Clare TD Cathal Crowe said it would be fantastic for Shannon if Amazon do end up developing a presence in the town.
“This is hugely significant news for Shannon, for Clare and for Ireland, if these talks prove fruitful,” he commented.
“Amazon is an extremely well-established company and has flourished during the Covid-19 pandemic, with record profits of $6.3 billion US dollars in the final quarter of last year.
“To have a company of this calibre looking at Shannon is massive and would be a huge endorsement of the potential of Shannon Airport and the Midwest region as a whole.
“This would be a lifeline for Shannon Airport at an extremely difficult time in its proud history.
“As Fianna Fáil’s aviation spokesperson I’ve been strongly pushing the case for a new cargo role at Shannon for some time now.
“In the days before Christmas, I had a lengthy chat with the Taoiseach during which we discussed future pathways for Shannon. I will do everything I possibly can, at the highest levels, to ensure that the full potential of Shannon is realised.”
The company already employs several thousand people in Ireland, in Cork and Dublin and is understood to be developing its first Irish fulfillment centre in Dublin at the moment. If an Amazon cargo facility did go ahead in Shannon, it would potentially be a very large employer.
At the moment Irish shoppers don’t have a dedicated amazon.ie site to purchase from, but there is speculation that may change, given the company’s extra investment in distribution here and complications arising from Brexit.