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CSO Figures Show Irish Ports Handled 46.4 Million Tonnes of Goods in 2023

28th May 2024
Break bulk and other goods (main Irish ports) totalled 227 tonnes in Q4, 2022 and in the same quarter for last year, it amounted to 246, an increase of 8 %. Above: bulk-carrier, Menelaos, berthed at the Deepwater Berth in Ringaskiddy, Port of Cork.
Break bulk and other goods (main Irish ports) totalled 227 tonnes in Q4, 2022 and in the same quarter for last year, it amounted to 246, an increase of 8 %. Above: bulk-carrier, Menelaos, berthed at the Deepwater Berth in Ringaskiddy, Port of Cork. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

According to new Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures, Irish Ports handled a total of 46.4 million metric tons of goods last year.

This figure was a fall of 13% in 2022, according to the CSO’s Statistics of Port Traffic Q4 and Year 2023, which was released today.

The CSO said goods forwarded from Irish ports amounted to 15.2 million metric tons in 2023, while a total of 31.2 million metric tons of goods were received.

During the year, a total of 12,105 vessels arrived in Irish ports, which is a decrease from the figure of 12,447 that took place in 2022.

Another key finding showed Dublin Port accounted for 59% of all vessels arriving in Irish ports in 2023.

The main ports are Bantry, Cork, Shannon in Munster, Drogheda, Dublin, Rosslare, and Waterford in Leinster.

The figures also highlight that Northern Ireland and Britain accounted for 37% of the total tonnage of goods handled in the main ports by region of trade in 2023.

Whereas EU countries accounted for 43% of the total tonnage of goods handled.

More RTE News reports on the port statistics.

Published in Irish Ports
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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As an island economy, a healthy maritime sector is key to our national competitiveness. Virtually all our imports and exports pass through Irish ports.

Ireland is dependent on ports and shipping services to transport goods and 90% of our trade is moved though Irish ports. Shipping and maritime transport services make a significant contribution to Ireland’s ocean economy, with the sector generating €2.3 billion in turnover and employing over 5,000 people in 2018.

Ireland’s maritime industry continues to grow and progress each year with Irish ports and shipping companies making significant investments. The ports sector in Ireland is currently undergoing a number of expansions and developments with Dublin Port’s Alexandra Basin development, the development of Ringaskiddy in Cork by Port of Cork and the development of Shannon Foynes Port. Along with these major investments, shipping companies are also investing heavily in new tonnage, with Irish Ferries, CLdN and Stena leading new build programmes.

These pages cover the following sectoral areas: shipowners, harbour authorities, shipbrokers, freight forwarders and contractors, cruise liner operators, port users, seamen, merchants, academic institutions, shipyards and repair facilities, naval architects, navy and defence personnel.

Our pages are covering some of the most notable arrivals around our coast and reporting too on port development and shipping news.

This section of the site deals with Port and Shipping News on our largest ports Dublin Port, Port of Cork, the Shannon Estuary, Galway Harbour and Belfast Lough.

A recent study carried out for the Irish Ports Association (IPA) totalled 75.7 billion during 2004 and their net economic impact was some 5.5 billion supporting around 57, 500 full time employees.

Liam Lacey, Director of the Marine Institute’s Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) said, “The Irish maritime industry can look to the future with confidence. It has shown itself to be resilient and agile in responding to challenges. Over the past decade, it has had to respond to the challenges of the financial crisis of 2008, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and recent challenges. Ireland’s maritime sector has continued to underpin our economy by maintaining vital shipping links for both trade and tourism.”