Slight decline in goods volumes at ports last year

Goods ‘forwarded’ behind the overall 1.9 per cent drop

Dublin was by far the busiest port in the Republic last year, handling 6,651 ship arrivals and gross tonnage of 142.4 million. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill

Dublin was by far the busiest port in the Republic last year, handling 6,651 ship arrivals and gross tonnage of 142.4 million. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill

Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 01:00

The volume of goods handled by Irish ports declined by almost 2 per cent last year as a slight increase in imports struggled to offset a drop of almost 7 per cent in products sent from Ireland by sea.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that Irish ports handled 46.7 million tonnes of goods over 2013, down 927,000 tonnes on the previous year.

Goods “forwarded” fell by 6.9 per cent to 15.3 million tonnes, while goods “received” increased marginally to 31.4 million tonnes over the same period.

The data chimes with earlier CSO trade data showing a 5 per cent decline in exports and a 1 per cent increase in imports last year.

Today’s figures show liquid bulk traffic (goods such as crude oil or liquefied gas) posted the biggest drop in overall activity, falling back 14 per cent, while lift-on/lift-off traffic (containers) was down 7.6 per cent.

Number of vessels

The figures show a very slight increase of 1.1 per cent in the number of vessels arriving in Irish ports, with the total reaching 11,940 in 2013.

The climb did not translate into higher gross tonnage, however, with this declining 6.7 per cent to 209.8 million tonnes.

Dublin was by far the busiest port over the year, handling 6,651 ship arrivals and gross tonnage of 142.4 million. Rosslare in Co Wexford was the next most active facility, with 1,683 arrivals and 33.1 million tonnes.

The CSO said the routes between Dublin and Milford Haven, Holyhead and Liverpool in Britain saw the most brisk inward movement of goods in 2013, accounting for almost one quarter of the total weight of goods received.

The Dublin-Liverpool and Dublin-Holyhead routes were also the most active for goods forwarded.

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