#PORTS – Dublin Port Company today published trade statistics for 2011. Total throughput in 2011 was broadly in line with 2010, down by only 0.1% to 28.1m tonnes. Within this, however, exports continued to grow and were up 2.8% in the year at 11.5m tonnes.
2011 trade statistics summary:
Total throughput – 28.1m tonnes, down 0.1%
Exports – 11.5m tonnes up 2.8%
Imports – 16.6m tonnes down 2.0%
Bulk Liquid – 3.6m tonnes, down 4.7%
Bulk Solid – 1.6m tonnes, up 10.8%
Unitised trade now accounts for 81% of Dublin Port's business. During 2011, Ro-Ro freight volumes were virtually unchanged at 725,000 units. In contrast, Lo-Lo volumes fell by 5.1% to 526,000 TEU.
Ferry passenger numbers fell by 5.6% to 1.7m. This follows a record year in 2010 when numbers were boosted by the impact of weather and ash clouds. Compared to 2009, passenger numbers were up 11.1%.
With 1.7m ferry passengers moving through the port, Dublin Port is behind only Dublin Airport and Cork Airport as a national tourism gateway.
The cruise liner side of Dublin Port's business saw a 7.5% increase in cruise passengers. During 2011, 87 cruise ships brought over 135,000 passengers and crew to Dublin.
Commenting on the trade figures, Eamonn O'Reilly, Dublin Port Company's Chief Executive said:
"Trade levels at Dublin Port were steady in 2011 which is a robust performance given the large (6.1%) increase in the port's volumes in the previous year.
"Whereas export volumes have continued to grow and are now 0.5m tonnes higher than they were in 2007, the poor performance of the domestic economy has resulted in a continued decline in imports. These are now 3.4m tonnes lower than they were in 2007.
"Notwithstanding the poor performance of the economy we are continuing to plan for the future and will shortly be launching our Masterplan 2012 to 2040. Dublin remains the largest and most important port on the island and our Masterplan is intended to ensure we continue to provide vital port capacity particularly as the economy returns to growth in coming years.
"With all the difficulties in the economy we are still only 9% behind where we were at the peak in 2007 and we believe that any pick-up in domestic demand will quickly translate into growth in import volumes. The Masterplan will ensure we stay ahead of future growth in demand for decades to come".