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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Port

The ferryport of Rosslare Europort will undergo a €30m transformation over the next five years and is the ideal port to alleviate traffic congestion and lessen pollution in Dublin, according to manager Glenn Carr.

As the New Ross Standard reports, Mr Carr said there are 100 acres of land waiting to be developed within a five kilometre radius of the port, an unrivalled landbank in the country, adding that it makes perfect sense for Dublin Port ships and shipping activity to be moved to Rosslare. Planning permission to develop a new access road and entrance has been submitted, with works due to commence this winter - and combined with major plans by the OPW to develop a customs unit at the port - Rosslare Europort is able to take over 20 per cent of activity from Dublin in the coming years.

Mr Carr said: 'Both outside Dublin Port on the M50 and inside, there is congestion. The current situation is not the norm. The norm prior to Covid saw lorries delayed outside the port and even in the port tunnel. With Brexit approaching we do believe that Rosslare has a very strong role to play as geographically it is the closest port to mainland Europe. Companies can save seven hours, (three and a half hours each way) on the Irish Sea on direct services going to Europe.'

He said the Enniscorthy Bypass has saved hauliers 25 minutes on their journey, adding that the opening of the New Ross Bypass has also strengthened the case for the port. For hauliers travelling to distribution centres along the outer M50 in Dublin, Rosslare is now a lot easier to get to. 'The time you would lose on the ship, you'd gain on the road. The New Ross Bypass provides improved connectivity to Cork, Waterford and Limerick, which are main arteries that a lot of product is moved to. We have seen that with the new Brittany Ferries [Bilbao] service, which moved here from Cork. The biggest factor [behind the move] was that the industry wanted the route in Rosslare because it was easier and quicker to get to so there is already evidence that Rosslare is a real alternative to Dublin.

Presently around 84 per cent of roll-on, roll-off shipping activity occurs in Dublin Port, the remaining 16 per cent falling to Rosslare.

For Carr, there is no other port in Ireland better suited to roll-on, roll-off. because of the better access in and out of the port.

For much more on this ferry development click here.

Afloat adds Brittany Ferries were to have launched a second new route out of Rosslare to Roscoff, but due to Covid-19 the start date has been rescheduled to this month. The inaugural sailing is in a fortnight's time, Monday 15th June.

In the meantime Kerry maintains the year-round Spanish service albeit in a freight-only mode until sailings open to passengers return on Wednesday 17th June.

Published in Ferry

Dublin Port Company has today reported its first-quarter trading figures for 2020. The latest figures show a decline in overall port tonnage of -4.8% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The first three months of 2019 were dominated by the original Brexit departure date of 31st March 2019 and volumes through Dublin were very high due to stockpiling. (Q1 2019 imports were 8.0% ahead of imports in Q1 2018).

Against this base, significant growth in Q1 2020 was always unlikely but the impact of the coronavirus, particularly in March, combined with significant shipping disruptions due to bad weather in February caused volumes to decline by 470,000 tonnes or -4.8% in the first quarter of 2020.

Unitised trade (trailers and containers combined) fell by -4.4% to 360,000 units with Ro-Ro declining by -5.3% to 256,000 units and Lo-Lo by -2.2% to 187,000 TEU.

Imports of new trade vehicles

Imports of new trade vehicles through Dublin Port decreased by -10.3% to 30,000 in the first quarter and a significant continuing decline seems inevitable for the rest of the year.

Bulk liquid volumes, primarily petroleum products, grew by +4.4% to 1.1m tonnes. Aviation fuel accounts for more than one-fifth of all petroleum imports in Dublin Port and the impact of the coronavirus on air travel will lead to a large decline in imports of aviation fuel and in overall petroleum imports into Dublin Port in the months ahead.

Dublin Port Cargo decline

Bulk solid commodities declined by -13.2% to 468,000 tonnes.

Ferry Passengers

Ferry passenger volumes decreased by -17.8% to 224,000. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles fell by -18.0% to 67,000. One cruise ship called to Dublin Port in Q1 2020 and the outlook for this sector everywhere for the remainder of the cruise season to end-September is bleak.

Commenting on the results, Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said:

“Against the background of an exceptionally buoyant first quarter in 2019 because of Brexit, we did not expect to see continued strong growth in Q1 2020. However, the combination of exceptionally bad weather in February and the rapid impact of the coronavirus during March has caused port throughput to decline by 470,000 tonnes or 4.8% in the first three months of the year. Although our throughput was behind that of 2019, volumes in Q1 2020 were still ahead of Q1 2018 by 1.9%.

“The not too disappointing figures for Q1 2020 are irrelevant, however, as we look ahead to the second quarter during which we will see a very significant decline in volumes across all cargo modes and in passenger traffic.

“While work on long-term Masterplan development projects will continue once work restrictions are lifted, we will focus determinedly over the next three months on keeping day to day port operations going in order to maintain critical trade flows particularly of foodstuffs, essential consumer goods and medicines. It is at times like this that we see the importance of the supply chains we can normally take for granted in our daily lives.

Keeping Dublin Port open

“Keeping Dublin Port open depends on a small number of critical marine operations, maintenance, security and fire warden staff working 24 / 7. We have adapted normal working arrangements to protect staff and their families to ensure that key functions remain manned at all times and ships can enter and leave Dublin Port safely. We are also delighted to welcome back two recently retired pilots to service to provide additional manpower resilience for this essential function.

“Outside of our own operations, all of the cargo terminals in Dublin Port continue to operate normally and hauliers are maintaining the flow of goods in and out of these terminals. The contribution of port workers, of hauliers and of the anonymous ships' crews who maintain our supply chains is immense.

Dublin Port voluntary redundancy scheme

“In advance of finalising debt facilities of €300m in December 2019, we had been reducing the company’s cost base in recent years notably by way of a voluntary redundancy scheme which is reducing employee numbers by 11% and we are in a good position now to absorb the shock of reduced volumes as a result of the coronavirus in anticipation of economic recovery whenever that might happen. In particular, we are well placed to continue the long lead time challenge of providing additional port capacity for long-term growth”.

Published in Dublin Port
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Operators of Dublin and Cork ports have said imports of food and other essential items have increased since the Covid-19 outbreak here over a month ago.

According to RTE News, the ports said contingencies are in place to ensure ports stay open and supply chains remain intact.

Their trading figures indicate the Covid-19 outbreak has seen increased demand for food and other essential items.

This is backed up by evidence of panic buying and empty supermarket shelves.

The Port of Cork insists that trade is up and supply chains have been unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak.

At Cork's deep water terminal in Ringaskiddy, unloading of a Portuguese cargo ship, AS Petronia, began at 5am.

The ship left Costa Rica in Central America a fortnight ago, and tied up in Ringaskiddy in the early hours of this morning.

Ireland is its first port of call. The ship is carrying more than 2,000 shipping containers which are destined for ports all over Europe.

There were around 100 shipping containers for Ireland on board, carrying mangos, melons and pineapples, along with four million bananas - a mere week's supply to keep this country going.

More on this story by clicking here.

Published in Irish Ports

In recent months the concept of a fixed link between Ireland and Britain has been rapidly developing as various politicians have proposed bridges between Northern Ireland and Scotland across the narrow, storm-tossed and tide-riven waters of the North Channel.

But while the distance between Fair Head on the northeast corner of Antrim and the Mull of Kintyre in West Scotland is barely 13 miles, as one critic has pointed out, this would be a link “from the back of beyond to the middle of nowhere”. For even when Scotland has been reached at Kintyre, any traffic would have hundreds of miles of driving before getting anywhere near the main road system, let alone the primary motorway routes.

As for a connection across the established ferry route between Larne in Northern Ireland and Stranraer in southwest Scotland, that would also bring traffic from Ireland into a relatively remote part of Scotland, with a long slow drive to the nearest part of the motorway system towards Carlisle in northwest England. That in turn then involves a long haul through the notoriously congested M6 in order to connect with other main routes into the prosperous southeast of England and on into mainland Europe. 

map IRL UKThe challenges of providing a fixed link between Ireland and Britain are abundantly clear in this image, with the 160 metres depth of the explosives-filled Beaufort Dyke in the southern North Channel clearly in evidence. In terms of providing a relatively level seabed for the proposed Brunel Link from the greater Dublin area to North Wales, it looks as though a straight line between Skerries and Holyhead would offer the best option

But in any case, it has been pointed out that a Larne-Stranraer link would be considerably longer than the shorter County Antrim link between Black Head in Northern Ireland and Corsewall Point in Scotland. Yet both of these would involve difficult shoreside access, whereas a link slightly further south from Donaghadee in County Down through the nearby Copeland Island and across to Portpatrick in Scotland is only about 20 miles, although putting a motorway through the choice residential districts of North Down and across Copeland Island might meet with some local resistance.

In any case, in this area, the North Channel includes the 160 metres deep fissure which is the Beaufort Dyke, a hidden depth which has the added hazard of use as a dumping group for explosives – millions of them – after World War II ended in 1945. Even after 75 years, there is no reason to assume that they still are anything other than extremely dangerous.

Yet in theory, a viable bridge could be built at this point, for civil engineers reckon anything is possible if they’re only given enough resources to do it. Nevertheless, even though it might be less expensive than a tunnel, it boggles the mind to think of the expenditure which would be required to create a bridge structure which could withstand the really extreme conditions of the North Channel, and thus another idea which has been around for some time has been put forward as a possible solution.

brunel link3The basic structure of the Brunel Link is very simple. In the completed full-size project, a motorway standard dual carriageway with three lanes either side will be in place across the middle, while a two-line railway will run along the floor.

This is the Bridge/Tunnel, the “Brunnel”, which is somewhere between a bridge and a tunnel. It is in effect a giant tube which is laid along the sea-bed in such a way that it flexibly follows the contours when they are reasonably even, but by its nature, the structure can be reinforced to become a rigid tube-bridge when it is necessary to cross an undersea valley.

As the portmanteau name of Brunnel is so near to the surname of Brunel to remind us of the great Victorian engineer-builder Isambard Kingdom Brunel (who would be just the man for a massive and visionary project of this nature), the concept is becoming known as the Brunel Link. And its potential for being extruded in virtually infinite lengths by a giant (and we really mean giant) tube-making machine from a reinforced mixture of concrete and advance epoxies has been taken into consideration by a mysterious Dublin-based organisation known as the Committee for the Re-Alignment of Ports.

image of brunel4The greatest engineer? Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) has been deservedly honoured in the name of the Brunel Link.
Basically, this Committee is primarily concerned with connecting Ireland as directly as possible with the most prosperous and industrious part of middle and southeast England, which in turn gives connections into the commercial, financial and industrial heartlands of Europe. In order to achieve this, they have concluded that the key arterial route to be followed would be based around the Dublin to Holyhead route.

UK IRLThe logic of the Dublin-Holyhead link as the most efficient inter-connector from the island of Ireland to Britain’s industrial and commercial heartlands and on into mainland Europe is evident from this map of the main routes
Thus the Committee’s plan is for a Brunel cross-channel tube connection from somewhere on the coast of the Greater Dublin region to Holyhead, the structure to be of sufficient diameter to accommodate a dual carriageway motorway with three lanes either side, plus vitally important hard shoulders, at its widest horizontal diameter, and below this would be a twin-track railway system running along the Brunel Link floor which will somehow accommodate the differing railway gauges to be found on either side of the Irish Sea.

As the impetus for this huge project is essentially coming from the Irish side, the group behind it plan to invest heavily in Holyhead harbourside property. In fact, one development of this idea is that Ireland should buy Holy Island, the offlyer beside Anglesey on which Holyhead is located, and make it in effect an extension of the Irish Republic. Ideally, in fact, the promoters would like to take over the entire island of Anglesey to provide Dublin with the potential for an easterly extension and its useful hinterland.

holyhead aerial6With the Brunel Link in place, the port of Holyhead could have a brighter future as an extension of Dublin Port.

 Isle of Anglesey UK location mapThe promoters of the Brunel Link are thinking in terms of initially taking over Holy Island on which Holyhead is located, and ideally, they hope to buy all of Anglesey in due course to provide Dublin with a viable eastern hinterland.
At the moment that is only the stuff of dreams, but with the Brunel cross-channel connection, the entire geography of the northern area of St George’s Channel would be changed. With Anglesey less than an hour’s drive away from Dublin regardless of the weather, Holyhead could be transformed from an economic blackspot into becoming part of one of Europe’s most successful technical and financial hubs.

This ready access to Holyhead would, in turn, add another option to the regularly-issued demand by high-flown economic commentators and urban planners that Dublin Port be moved entirely out of the city in order to facilitate the “proper 21st Century potential” of the Capital. Those of us who think that the regular and much-observed ship movements in and out of the Port and Dublin Bay are integral to the character of the city may disagree with this, but nevertheless it’s interesting to see how the Holyhead option may affect the overall thinking.

For the “Move the Port out of the City” movement assumes that somewhere else can be conveniently found to place the large and complex infrastructure of Dublin port. Yet no remotely comparable natural harbour exists any nearer than Carlingford Lough to the north, and Wexford Harbour to the south, while the proposals for a new port at Bremor close north of Balbriggan seem to take no account of the need there would be for the construction of massive new breakwaters to create an artificial harbour which would have to be many times the size of Dun Laoghaire.

Yet with Holyhead brought into the equation through the Brunel Link, valuable land on the East Coast of Ireland could be retained for residential and recreational use, while an under-utilised industrial area and harbour on the Welsh coast could be brought to life as an extension of Dublin port.

dublin port sunset8Sunset for Dublin Port? With ferry operations removed by the opening of the Brunel Link to Holyhead, and with Holyhead thereby enabled to take over the freight services of Dublin, the way would be clear for the Dublin port area to be re-developed for residential, office and recreational use.
Behind all this re-alignment of ports, the new arterial connection from the heart of Ireland through Britain to the heart of Europe would be made even more viable in several obvious ways. With the rapidly increased use of electrically-powered vehicles in the near future, the convenience and environmental compatibility of the Brunel Link, and the inescapable logic of its location, arguably make the visionary proposals from the Committee for the Re-Alignment of Ports a real no-brainer.

Published in News Update
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Dublin's sea trade which is around 17% could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic according to the Dublin Port Company.

It a statement the company says it "fully expects" a fall-off when the next quarterly results are published.

It says that 17% of trade in the port is with deep sea destinations such as China, which are "exposed" to the impact of the virus.

"We know that we will see a reduction in volumes affecting this portion of our trade, but we cannot comment meaningfully on the impact until after the end of the first quarter".

More on the story RTE reports here.

Published in Dublin Port

Dublin Port Company has today officially christened its new Pilot Boat, DPC Tolka, in a short ceremony held at Poolbeg Yacht Club. The state-of-the-art vessel arrived in Dublin Port in December.

Father Ivan Tonge of Ringsend Parish and Reverend William Black, Port Chaplin from the Mission to Seafarers, blessed the 17.1-metre vessel before the boat’s godmother, Eileen Murray, carried out the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle on its bow. Eileen, a local of Ringsend, is the Vice Commodore of Poolbeg Yacht Club and her father was one of its founding members.

Dublin Port Pilot Boat TolkaEamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company Dublin at the Tolka Christening ceremony

As Afloat reported previously, DPC Tolka is the newest addition to the port’s fleet of working vessels, which includes tug boats Shackleton and Beaufort, multi-purpose workboat the Rosbeg, and pilot boats Liffey and Camac. She replaces the Port’s oldest pilot boat Dodder, which was retired from service after 23 years.

Dublin Port Pilot Boat TolkaFather Ivan Tonge of Ringsend Parish and Reverend William Black, Port Chaplin from the Mission to Seafarers, blessed the 17.1-metre vessel

DPC Tolka represents a vital upgrade in the provision of pilotage services at the Port and will allow Dublin Port’s team of highly skilled marine pilots to reach and board large ships in all weather conditions from a greater distance out into Dublin Bay. Pilots have been training on the new vessel since her arrival.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “The christening of a new vessel is a longstanding tradition and I cannot think of a more suitable godmother to the Tolka than Vice Commodore Murray, whose family are steeped in Poolbeg Yacht Club’s history. I thank Eileen and the Club for hosting this event today and Dublin Port looks forward to continuing to work closely with both the local community and sailing organisations in the future.”

DPCTolka16(From left) Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly, Eileen Murray and Dublin Port Harbour master Captain Michael McKenna

Published in Dublin Port
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Good news from the Dublin Dock Workers' Preservation Society in their attempts to save their 6,000 historical photographs collection. The problem was reported earlier this week on Afloat.

Declan Byrne of the Society says: "We have been overwhelmed by the offers of help and support to preserve our archive. We are meeting up with Lar Joye Port Heritage Director of Dublin Port Company"

Hopefully, there will be a positive outcome and the important collection will be saved.

Published in Dublin Port
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There has been 'terrible news' reported for Dublin Dock Workers' preservation society who need urgent help to preserve records stored on the internet.

The Dublin Dock Workers’ Preservation Society was set up nine years ago, in early 2011.

It is composed of ex-dock workers and people interested in preserving the history of Dublin Port. It has successfully held a number of exhibitions and raised awareness of the culture, history and tradition of Dublin Docks and Dock Workers.

It started by collecting historic photographs and has amassed a collection of 6,000 but is now in danger of losing them all and is seeking urgent help to preserve them.

Today came what one of its leaders, Declan Byrne, described as: “Terrible News.”

He said: “We have been notified that we are losing the internet site where we store our 6,000 donated photographs. We used this bluemelon site because people could download the photographs for free. We have now been told: "Your Bluemelon subscription is set to expire on 07-Feb-2020. Unfortunately, due to recent changes in the industry, we are no longer able to offer you an extension for your subscription. Your account will expire on 2020-02-08 and your files will be deleted. Thank you for the time you have spent with Bluemelon."

Declan told me: “We do not have the resources or personnel to download the photos and save them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”

So, is there someone with the knowledge, resource, ability, to help preserve this valuable collection for the Society.

Email offers of help to Declan Byrne: [email protected]

Published in Dublin Port

As Storm Brendan is forecast to arrive on Monday morning, 13th January 2020, combined with a period of high tides, Dublin Port Company will temporarily close public access to the Great South Wall and the North Bull Wall Bridge on Monday from the following times:

  • Great South Wall from 1100hrs - 1600hrs
  • North Bull Wall Bridge from 1200hrs - 1430hrs

In Dublin on Monday there is an ORANGE wind warning in effect from 0800hrs -1500hrs.

The Marine forecast for the Irish Sea is a RED warning with strong gale force (Force 9) to storm force (Force 10). There will be heavy rain from 1200hrs - 1500hrs.

High tide at 1311hrs is predicted to reach 5.09m and Dublin City Council is activating flood defences.

The Great South Wall closure is due to tide height and dangerous winds on the exposed wall surface. The Bull Bridge closure is due to tide height.

Delays to some shipping activity is expected, including possible delays at the port’s LOLO container terminals, i.e. where containers are loaded and unloaded by crane.

With wind and rain expected until Thursday this week, Dublin Port Company will continue to monitor the situation.

Published in Weather
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A cargo ship en route to Dublin Port was caught in this week's storms and lost at least 12 containers overboard.

The Maritime Bulletin reports that the ship 'Elbcarrier' lost the containers in the Celtic Sea on the afternoon of Sunday, December 8, while en route from Rotterdam to Dublin and being caught in rough seas.

The Bulletin's reporter is Erofey Schkvarkin, a Merchant Marine Captain, who also writes that 12 drifting containers were spotted at 2330 UTC in vicinity 51 40N 005 50W.

The ship reached Dublin in the afternoon Dec 9. More on this in the Maritime Bulletin here

Containers Blown Over

Separately, a reader has sent Afloat photo of containers blown over in Dublin Port in high winds this week.

Containers CapsizedShipping containers capsized in Dublin Port this week

Published in Ports & Shipping
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