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'Huge Cancellation of Ships' Faces Dublin Port as Virus Shutdowns Bite

18th February 2020
Containers at DSG's terminal in Dublin Port Containers at DSG's terminal in Dublin Port Photo: Dublin Port-facebook

The importation of cargo from China will plunge to next to nothing from next week, with disruptions potentially lasting for months, Irish shippers say.

As Independent.ie reports, to date, mass factory closures in China aimed at containing the deadly coronavirus outbreak (see: Irish ports protocal) have had a limited impact on Irish supply chains.

However, that is set to change as orders that should have been filled during the worst of the crisis have not left port. Dublin Port terminal operators say they are bracing for what one called "a huge cancellation of ships".

The Doyle Shipping Group, which offloads containers at Dublin Port, says its shipping schedule looks normal until next week, when the effects of the crisis become stark. "We're going to start to get next to nothing from China for the next six to eight weeks," said DSG director Pat Brennan. His firm employs 250 in Dublin, unloading around 1,200 containers a day from 20 ships a week.

He said the planning list of inbound ships shows three vessels that usually arrive from Europe's shipping hub at Rotterdam with Asian goods will stop coming next week. That would mean 600 to 700 fewer containers, which normally bear everything from Chinese garlic to electronics.

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Published in Dublin Port
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Dublin Port Information

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructure such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

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