#Trade8%Up - Trade statistics at Dublin Port Company show a half-year growth of 8.0%, the strongest six-month performance ever. The extraordinary growth trend for the first half of the year builds on last year’s record throughput of 32.8 million gross tonnes.
Total throughput (imports and exports) for the six months to the end of June was 17.3 million gross tonnes, with 3,782 ship arrivals during the period. Both imports and exports grew strongly, with exports ahead by 7.5% and imports even stronger at 8.3%.
Showing further improvement in the domestic economy, imports rose to more than 10 million gross tonnes on the same trading period, while exports exceeded 7 million gross tonnes.
Imports of new cars and commercial vehicles continued to grow very strongly with more than 60,000 new vehicles imported through Dublin Port in the first six months of the year, an 11.3% rise on the same period last year. This growth is reflected in the 32.8% increase in trade vehicle imports in the second quarter alone, in anticipation of demand for new “162” vehicle licence plates.
Growth surged in the largest parts of Dublin Port’s business; Ro-Ro freight trailers and Lo-Lo containers. Ro-Ro increased by 8.4% to 460,587 units in the first six months while Lo-Lo containers grew by 10.1% to 330,530 TEU as the domestic economy continued to draw imported goods from overseas markets.
Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “Dublin Port is experiencing extraordinary growth at present. Total throughput increased by 8.0% in the first six months of the year. With just half the year gone, it now seems almost certain that 2016 will be a record year by some distance.
“Having seen growth of 17.3% in the three years to 2015 and with such a strong first half to 2016, creating additional port capacity is an imperative for us”.
The latest trading figures come as Dublin Port Company has purchased a motorway connected 44-hectare land bank adjacent to Dublin Airport to create a new External Port Logistics Zone. The new lands provide an additional 17% to the port’s existing estate of 260 hectares. The land bank is just 14km from the port and will allow Dublin Port to relocate non-core activities from the port, thereby freeing up existing port lands for the transit storage of cargo.
In addition the land back will provide storage areas for slower moving cargoes. Dublin Port Company committed in its Masterplan to maximising the use of its existing lands. The new External Port Logistics Zone, which will be developed over the coming years, is a landmark initiative to achieve this objective.
“While construction of the €230 million Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project is progressing, Dublin Port must also push ahead with other projects to stay ahead of growth. Our decision to acquire a 44-hectare land bank within easy reach of the port is another major step towards providing additional capacity at the port as we prepare long-term for future growth.” added Eamonn O’Reilly.