The latest IMDO iShip Index indicates growth in shipping and port activity in the Republic of Ireland by 5% in Q3 of 2017 verses Q3 in 2016.
There was positive year on year growth across all major cargo markets. Notable however, has been the continued steady growth of Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) trade at 5%, continuing a trend of strong growth within this sector which began in Q1 2014.
Furthermore, there has been particularly strong growth the Lift-on/Lift-off (Lo/Lo) sector at 7% overall in laden traffic. This has been driven by an 11% growth in laden exports, which is encouraging as laden exports are driven by activity in the manufacturing and agricultural industries. Laden Lo/Lo imports increased by 4% year on year.
When Lo/Lo and Ro/Ro traffic from Northern Ireland (NI) is included, all-island Ro/Ro volumes increased by 4% in Q3 2017. All-island Lo/Lo traffic grew again this quarter by 6%, with all-island imports and exports rising by 4% and 9% respectively compared to Q3 2016. NI Ro/Ro volumes grew by 2%, while NI Lo/Lo traffic grew by 3%.
The Bulk Traffic segment saw tonnage volumes increase this quarter by 4% (excluding transhipments) in the ROI when compared to the same period last year. This was driven primarily by increases in Break Bulk tonnage by 9%. Dry Bulk volumes grew by 2% while Liquid Bulk traffic increased 5% compared to Q3 2016 (excluding transhipments). However, when transhipments are included, Liquid Bulk grew by 13% this quarter compared to 2016.