Port of Cork reports increase in container traffic
Move of container terminal business to Ringaskiddy essential, says chairman
Port of Cork: volumes through Tivoli and Ringaskiddy container terminals show growth of 13 per cent compared to 2013 figures. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
The Port of Cork’s proposed move of its container terminal business to Ringaskiddy is essential to cater for increased growth following 13 per cent growth on container traffic last year, according to company chairman John Mullins.
Mr Mullins revealed that the report for 2014 showed the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Company saw trade traffic reach more than 10 million tonnes with container traffic in particular showing a significant increase.
Container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy container terminals in the Port of Cork showed growth of 13 per cent compared to 2013 figures, with more than 190,000 20-foot equivalent units handled, said Mr Mullins.
“We are very encouraged by the significantly increased container volumes in 2014 and I am confident that we can sustain this growth in 2015 while continuing to seek other opportunities for increasing trade through the port,” he said.
“Consumer confidence is on the rise and we expect that this in turn will bring a surge in consumer goods imported during 2015. Our move to Ringaskiddy is vitally important to meet expected growth.”
An Bord Pleanála wrote last week to the Port of Cork seeking more information on its plan for the dumping of dredged material from Ringaskiddy which the port is hoping to develop to take larger container vessels which can’t use Tivoli because of draft and width limitations.
Mr Mullins acknowledged that overall traffic through both ports was down 4 per cent in 2014 and he attributed this in part to an unusually favourable harvest last year for Irish farmers which led to a 22 per cent reduction in animal feeds and cereal imports.
“The decrease in traffic volumes during 2014 is due primarily to a reduction in imports of animal feeds, cereals, salt and coal combined with a lack of oil exploration activity compared to 2013,” he said.
Oil traffic through the Port of Cork to the Whitegate Oil Refinery owned and operated by Phillips 66 experienced a marginal drop of 1.5 per cent on 2013 due primarily to a maintenance shut down for six weeks in July and August which affected refining.
However the port’s cruise liner business continued to grow with 53 cruise liners calling in 2014, bringing 119,000 passengers and crew to the region and work has begun on upgrading the facilities at Cobh Cruise Terminal to allow larger Quantum class ships berth there.