Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Irish Ports and Shipping Volumes Report Modest Uplift in 2012

24th April 2013
Irish Ports and Shipping Volumes Report Modest Uplift in 2012

The volume of cargo shipped though our ports saw a small overall increase last year with two of the five principle cargo segments experiencing growth. This is according to the latest annual edition of the 10th Annual Irish Maritime Transport Economist. This year's publication also included the launch of the IMDO's inaugural iShip Index* which was released at an industry briefing in Dublin, today (April 24th) by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO). The new iShip Index is a quarterly weighted indicator which gauges the health of the Irish shipping industry and the wider economy. The iShip Index showed a one per cent1% increase in overall shipping activity across the State during 2012.

Speaking at the launch of the 10th publication, IMDO Director Mr. Glenn Murphy said, "Over the past decade Irish ports have handled just under half of a billion tonnes of cargo, while more than 27 million container and trailer units passed through ports on the Island of Ireland. During this time, we have seen the highest volume rises followed by record declines. Our publication clearly illustrates the relationship between the maritime economy and the real Irish economy. While not an absolute indicator in its own right, the shipping data gives us a strong impression of changes in the domestic economy; about patterns of consumption behaviour; and also indigenous export output."

Demand over 2012 was relatively lacklustre for the Irish ports and shipping sector with growth limited to a small number of commodities in the bulk market segments. Growth in the dry bulk segment was better than expected, up overall by 7% to 14.9 million tonnes and boosted by strong input demands from the agricultural sector. This was heavily driven by a 34% increase in bulk animal feed which was in part influenced by the heavy rainfall that occurred over the summer and autumn seasons last year.

Elsewhere traffic volumes in the headline unit load shipping markets were down during 2012. Overall container traffic fell by 3% to 775,000 teu (twenty foot equivalent unit). One note of concern was the decline in exports (-2%). We initially observed an export slowdown in our 3rd quarter maritime review in 2011, with this trend persisting over the course of 2012 before turning negative in the second quarter of the year. However, exports to some longhaul markets in Asia, Africa and South America continued to show some positive signs of growth. Container imports remained negative (-3%), despite the rate of decline easing to its lowest level since 2007. The UK, our largest trading partner, returned to recession during 2012, resulting in weaker demand for the main ro/ro operators serving these markets with total volumes falling by 2% to 1.57 million freight units. Direct traffic to continental Europe, a subset of this market, increased by 5%.

Commenting on the report Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, stated, "This year's publication clearly articulates the challenging business environment our maritime transport sector faces, but importantly also makes the point that the worst of the economic storm appears to have passed and that we are now transitioning on a course towards more sustainable economic growth."

The outlook for 2013 remains broadly similar to 2012 and we expect most markets to remain relatively flat for most of the year, although we are cautiously optimistic about the possibility for an upturn in some segments over the latter half of the year.

KEY INDICATORS:

iShip Index: +1%
Bulk Traffic: +10%   (Includes oil, dry bulk commodities & break bulk)
Lo/Lo Traffic: -3%    (Lift on/Lift off container market)
Ro/Ro Traffic: -2%   (Roll on/Roll off)

Published in Ports & Shipping
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating