Dublin Port has announced new figures showing a 6.8% increase in trade volumes for the first nine months of the year. The current pace of growth puts Dublin Port on course for a record year for the third year in a row.
Total throughput (imports and exports) for the nine months to the end of September was 26.0 million gross tonnes.
Exports moved ahead by 7.0% to 10.6 million gross tonnes in the first nine months, while imports climbed by 6.7% to 15.4 million gross tonnes, reflecting ongoing improvement in the domestic economy.
Ro-Ro freight trailers and Lo-Lo containers are the mainstay of Dublin Port’s business and they continue to show very strong growth.
Ro-Ro cargo arriving on trailer-trucks and lorries increased by 7.6% to 699,361 units, while Lo-Lo containers moved ahead by 9.3% to 495,304 TEU.
More than 77,000 new vehicles were imported through Dublin Port in the first nine months, up 9.8% on the same period last year as demand for new cars and commercial vehicles showed little sign of abating. Meanwhile ferry passenger traffic experienced a slight uplift by 0.5% as 1.4m ferry passengers and over 400,000 tourist vehicles passed through the port, as holidaymakers and Ireland soccer fans took advantage of direct routes to France and Britain.
Dublin Port’s cruise business grew with 103 cruise calls in the first nine months bringing 152,000 cruise visitors to the capital.
Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said:
“At 6.8% growth in the first nine months of the year, we are now certain that 2016 will be the third record year in a row for trade at Dublin Port. We are seeing the re-emergence of exponential compounding growth which has characterised the business of Dublin Port for many decades.
“In the period to September this year, we handled the same volume as we did in the whole of 2009, our lowest point after the economic collapse.
“The pace of growth is so strong that if current growth levels were to continue into the future, Dublin Port’s volumes would double over the 12 years to 2025. Our challenge now is how best to create additional port capacity in sufficient time to stay ahead of this growth.
“As part of our plans to maximise capacity at Dublin Port, we have purchased 44 hectares of motorway connected lands 14 km from the Port and we will develop these as an External
Port Logistics Zone over the next five years to increase the capacity of the Port to cater for future growth.
“We are also preparing plans for the development of over 50 hectares of port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula both within the area of the West Poolbeg SDZ and elsewhere on the peninsula. These plans are an integral part of our Masterplan 2012 to 2040 which shows how we will develop the Port to accommodate a doubling in throughput”.