Pat Delaney, Director of the Small Firms Association, has warned of a clear and present danger to Ireland's small exporters, if cancellations of ferry services escalate further.
He stressed the need for dialogue to bring a speedy resolution to the problem at Irish Ferries, and said that small Irish exporters would be worst hit if any dispute were prolonged.
Delaney said that small companies operating in niche markets would be most exposed to any "momentum" to this dispute.
Any reduction in shipping capacity will place businesses on high alert.
He said that small companies would be hit hard as they will not be able to get goods to consumers in a market that they have painstakingly developed.