Dublin Port on course for fifth year of consecutive growth
The Port has recorded an increase in trade volumes of 4.2% so far this year
The MV Celine will begin sailing from Dublin Port at the end of this month
Dublin Port is on track for its fifth consecutive year of growth, recording trade volumes up 4.2 per cent in the first nine months of this year.
While the impact of Brexit was seen earlier this year with passenger numbers dipping, a recovery has been seen in that category, with the port recording 1.49 million passengers in the third quarter, an increase of 2.4 per cent on the same period last year. Additionally, the number of tourist vehicles passing through the port increased 2.7 per cent to 411,921.
However, as more prospective car buyers opt to travel to the UK to pick up a second-hand car as the euro/sterling exchange rate remains weak, trade vehicles passing through Dublin Port dropped 5.5 per cent to 73,252.
In the face of potential Brexit challenges, a new roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) service will launch at the end of this month. The MV Celine will “provide additional capacity and flexibility for customers trading with markets in continental Europe, particularly post-Brexit”, a statement said. The new vessel from Luxembourg-based CLDN will operate between Dublin Port and the ports of Zeebrugge in Belgium and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
The MV Celine can carry more than 600 freight units and is almost twice the size of the largest ferry currently operating from Dublin Port.
“Brexit is creating a lot of uncertainty and the introduction of the new ship shows the shipping sector beginning to provide additional capacity to create more options for importers and exporters. We expect to see more new services to Continental Europe during 2018,” said Eamonn O’Reilly, chief executive of Dublin Port.
The biggest percentage change in Dublin Port’s volume in the third quarter was for cruise ships. Some 127 cruise ships used the port in the period, up 23.3 per cent on the same period in 2016.
Imports through Dublin Port continued to outweigh exports in the third quarter by around 4.8 million tons. However, the volume of exports had increased 5.2 per cent.
In light of the increasing volumes, Dublin Port said it planned to develop more of its available space to bring unused lands on the Poolbeg peninsula into play.
“Before year end, we will commence construction of a bridge over the Covanta and ESB cooling water outfall on the Poolbeg peninsula, now that the construction of the waste to energy plant is complete,” Mr O’Reilly said. “This bridge will bring unused port lands on the Poolbeg peninsula into use and allow us to increase the capacity of our berths on South Bank Quay.”