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'Reasonable' Performance by Port of Cork in 2010

25th July 2011
'Reasonable' Performance by Port of Cork in 2010
The Port of Cork Company have today announced their annual results for 2010 and despite the current economic climate the Port of Cork delivered a reasonable performance with total traffic at the Port of Cork amounting to 8.8 million tonnes, a positive increase of 8.5% on the 8.3 million tonnes generated in 2009. Trade increases were most notable in oil traffic, animal feedstuffs, fertilisers, salt, coal, trade cars, zinc exports and roll-on roll-off (RORO) traffic. Such increases indicate signs of recovery in the economy.

Turnover for the year amounted to €22 million (2009: €20.8 million) and operating profit before exceptional costs and interest amounted to €2 million (2009: €1.5 million). Profit on Ordinary Activities before taxation amounted to €2.2 million. In 2009 the Port of Cork successfully completed the Cork Dockers Rationalisation allowing the port to provide more efficient, reliable and most importantly cost effective shipping services for all users in the future.

Commenting on the 2010 annual results, Chairman Mr. Dermot O'Mahoney said: "Despite a reasonable increase of 5.6% in turnover, the Port of Cork has had to take a closer look at the company's current business practices, to ensure more efficient work practices and better control of costs. An increase in exports by 9.7% compared to 2009 show some areas are returning to growth and this is positive for the region."

Oil traffic which is mainly handled at Conoco Phillips Whitegate Oil refinery, increased by 3.56% to 5 million tonnes. Container traffic reduced by less than 1% to 147,526 TEU's, maintaining the Port of Cork's status as the second busiest Port in Ireland in terms of numbers of containers handled. Containers are shipped to and from Cork to Rotterdam, Antwerp, Zeebrugee, Scandinavia, North West Europe and the Mediterranean, highlighting Cork's role as a important gateway for trade.

Non-oil traffic accounted for 3.4 million tonnes in 2010, an increase in 486,806 tonnes or 16.7% compared to 2009.

The Port hosted 52 cruise liners in 2010 which brought over 100,000 passengers and crew to the Cork region and a welcome contribution to the local economy. The Port's continued investment in upgrading the Cobh Cruise Terminal has paid dividends by attracting some of the largest cruise lines to berth at the dedicated cruise facility. The Port of Cork is committed to the thriving cruise business, and aims to grow the business further from 54 calls to 75 calls over the next five years.

Brittany Ferries' Cork to Roscoff route had a very successful season operating from March to November. Overall the Port of Cork's Ro-Ro business was significantly boosted in 2010 by the resumption of the ferry service linking Cork with Swansea. The Port of Cork remains very supportive of the drive to maintain this ferry link which brings a welcome boost to the local and regional economy.

In 2010 the Port of Cork completed and published its Strategic Development Plan Review, a key element of which involved a comprehensive evaluation of potential sites in Cork Harbour for future port facilities. A detailed and comprehensive assessment was made of 13 sites in Cork Harbour for suitability to meet the needs of the Port in the short/medium/long term for different modes of trade. In preparing the Strategic Plan, the Company engaged in an extensive public consultation process with stakeholders. The issues raised were compiled into an Issues report which in turn fed into the review process of the plan. At the conclusion of the process it was determined that the primary location for Port activities should be in the lower harbour at Ringaskiddy. This location is already associated with considerable port related activity and development and is consistent with the relevant Development Plans of Cork County Council and the South West Regional Authority.

Chief Executive, Mr. Brendan Keating said: "Overall the Strategic Development Plan Review reiterates the Port of Cork's commitment to ensuring that Cork remains a world class Port with a sustainable and economically viable future in supporting and serving the economic competitiveness of the national and regional economy. The plan was prepared on the basis of planning for the long-term traffic projections of 2030 and beyond. However, in recognition that much can change in the intervening period the Plan sets out a framework which is flexible and adoptable in the short to medium term and on a phased basis."

With the completion of this Strategic Plan Review the Port of Cork is confident that viable new port facilities can be delivered in support of the business and trading needs of the region. The Port of Cork Company is convinced that the provision of Port infrastructure capacity is essential in enhancing the economic prospects of the State, Cork City, County and the South West Region.

Sustaining the quality of the environment in Cork Harbour, particularly in areas which have the potential to be affected or influenced by Port Operations, is a priority for the Company.  The Port of Cork Company is committed to the highest standards in environmental management programmes through the implementation of global best practice and is accredited under ISO14001 and the EcoPorts foundation.

During 2010 the Company was involved in a number of local community based projects in Cork Harbour.  The new Port of Cork City Marina was constructed during 2010, and it is an addition to the high quality facilities already in existence such as, the Millennium Garden in Tivoli, the Pier in Crosshaven and the landscaping at Ringaskiddy. The Port of Cork also continued to work in partnership with the National Maritime College of Ireland in providing training for Port and Harbour related activities.  It is intended that this area of activity will be expanded over the next three years.

Additionally, the schools initiative, now in existence for over five years, continues to grow and be more successful in raising awareness levels of the Port among school children in Cork. The 2010 schools project, the most successful to date, recently concluded with a large number of projects submitted from schools.  The theme of this year's competition was "Making Cork Harbour a Green Energy Hub for the future".

Published in Port of Cork
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Port of Cork Information

The Port of Cork is investing €80 million in a container terminal development in Ringaskiddy. The Cork Container Terminal will initially offer a 360-metre quay with 13-metre depth alongside and will enable larger ships to berth in the port. The development also includes the construction of a 13.5-hectare terminal and associated buildings as well as two ship to shore gantry cranes and container handling equipment.

The development of new container handling facilities at Ringaskiddy was identified in the Port of Cork’s Strategic Development Plan in 2010. It will accommodate current and future container shipping which can be serviced by modern and efficient cargo handling equipment with innovative terminal operating and vehicle booking systems. The Port of Cork anticipates that Cork Container Terminal will be operational in 2020.

The Port of Cork is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of just two Irish ports which service the requirements of all shipping modes.

The Port of Cork also controls Bantry Bay Port Company and employs 150 people across all locations.

A European Designated Core Port and a Tier 1 Port of National Significance, Port of Cork’s reputation for quality service, including prompt and efficient vessel turnaround as well as the company’s investment in future growth, ensures its position as a vital link in the global supply chain.

The port has made impressive strides in recent decades, most recently with the construction of the new €80m Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy which will facilitate the natural progression of the move from a river port to a deepwater port in order to future proof the Port
of Cork. This state-of-the-art terminal which will open in 2020 will be capable of berthing the largest container ships currently calling to Ireland.

The Port of Cork Company is a commercial semi-state company responsible for the commercial running of the harbour as well as responsibility for navigation and berthage in the port.  The Port is the main port serving the South of Ireland, County Cork and Cork City. 

Types of Shipping Using Port of Cork

The Port offers all six shipping modes from Lift-on Lift-off, Roll-on Roll-off, Liquid Bulk, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk and Cruise liner traffic.

Port of Cork Growth

The port has made impressive strides in recent decades. Since 2000, the Port of Cork has invested €72 million in improving Port infrastructure and facilities. Due to its favourable location and its modern deepwater facilities, the Port is ideally positioned for additional European trading as well as for yet unexploited direct deep-sea shipping services. A well-developed road infrastructure eases the flow of traffic from and to the port. The Port of Cork’s growing reputation for quality service, including prompt and efficient vessel turnaround, ensures its position as a vital link in the global supply chain. The Port of Cork Company turnover in 2018 amounted to €35.4 million, an increase of €3.9 million from €31.5 million in 2017. The combined traffic of both the Ports of Cork and Bantry increased to 10.66 million tonnes in 2018 up from 10.3 million tonnes in 2017.

History of Port of Cork

Famous at the last port of call of the Titanic, these medieval navigation and port facilities of the city and harbour were historically managed by the Cork Harbour Commissioners. Founded in 1814, the Cork Harbour Commissioners moved to the Custom House in 1904.  Following the implementation of the 1996 Harbours Act, by March 1997 all assets of the Commissioners were transferred to the Port of Cork Company.

Commercial Traffic at Port of Cork

Vessels up to 90,000 tonnes deadweight (DWT) are capable of coming through entrance to Cork Harbour. As the shipping channels get shallower the farther inland one travels, access becomes constricted, and only vessels up to 60,000 DWT can sail above Cobh. The Port of Cork provides pilotage and towage facilities for vessels entering Cork Harbour. All vessels accessing the quays in Cork City must be piloted and all vessels exceeding 130 metres in length must be piloted once they pass within 2.5 nautical miles (4.6 km) of the harbour entrance.

Berthing Facilities in Cork Harbour

The Port of Cork has berthing facilities at Cork City, Tivoli, Cobh and Ringaskiddy. The facilities in Cork City are primarily used for grain and oil transport. Tivoli provides container handling, facilities for oil, livestock and ore and a roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) ramp. Prior to the opening of Ringaskiddy Ferry Port, car ferries sailed from here; now, the Ro-Ro ramp is used by companies importing cars into Ireland. In addition to the ferry terminal, Ringaskiddy has a deep water port.

Port of Cork Development Plans

2020 will be a significant year for the Port of Cork as it prepares to complete and open the €86 million Cork Container Terminal development in Ringaskiddy.

Once operational the new terminal will enable the port to handle up to 450,000 TEU per annum. Port of Cork already possess significant natural depth in Cork harbour, and the work in Ringaskiddy Port will enable the Port of Cork to accommodate vessels of 5500 to 6000 TEU, which will provide a great deal of additional potential for increasing container traffic.

It follows a previous plan hatched in 2006 as the port operated at full capacity the Port drew up plans for a new container facility at Ringaskiddy. This was the subject of major objections and after an Oral Planning Hearing was held in 2008 the Irish planning board Bord Pleanala rejected the plan due to inadequate rail and road links at the location.  

Bantry Port

In 2017 Bantry Bay Port Company completed a significant investment of €8.5 million in the Bantry Inner Harbour development. The development consisted of a leisure marina, widening of the town pier, dredging of the inner harbour and creation of a foreshore amenity space.

Port of Cork Cruise Liner Traffic

2019 was a record cruise season for the Port of Cork with 100 cruise liners visiting. In total over 243,000 passengers and crew visited the region with many passengers visiting Cork for the first time.

Also in 2019, the Port of Cork's Cruise line berth in Cobh was recognised as one of the best cruise destinations in the world, winning in the Top-Rated British Isles & Western Europe Cruise Destination category. 

There has been an increase in cruise ship visits to Cork Harbour in the early 21st century, with 53 such ships visiting the port in 2011, increasing to approximately 100 cruise ship visits by 2019.

These cruise ships berth at the Port of Cork's deepwater quay in Cobh, which is Ireland's only dedicated berth for cruise ships.

Passenger Ferries

Operating since the late 1970s, Brittany Ferries runs a ferry service to Roscoff in France. This operates between April and November from the Ro-Ro facilities at Ringaskiddy. Previous ferry services ran to Swansea in Wales and Santander in Spain. The former, the Swansea Cork ferry, ran initially between 1987 and 2006 and also briefly between 2010 and 2012.

The latter, a Brittany Ferries Cork–Santander service, started in 2018 but was cancelled in early 2020.

Marine Leisure

The Port of Cork has a strategy that aims to promote the harbour also as a leisure amenity. Cork’s superb natural harbour is a great place to enjoy all types of marine leisure pursuits. With lots of sailing and rowing clubs dotted throughout the harbour, excellent fishing and picturesque harbour-side paths for walking, running or cycling, there is something for everyone to enjoy in and around Cork harbour. The Port is actively involved with the promotion of Cork Harbour's annual Festival. The oldest sailing club in the world, founded in 1720, is the Royal Cork Yacht Club is located at Crosshaven in the harbour, proof positive, says the Port, that the people of Cork, and its visitors, have been enjoying this vast natural leisure resource for centuries. 

Port of Cork Executives

  • Chairman: John Mullins
  • Chief Executive: Brendan Keating
  • Secretary/Chief Finance Officer: Donal Crowley
  • Harbour Master and Chief Operations Officer: Capt. Paul O'Regan
  • Port Engineering Manager: Henry Kingston
  • Chief Commercial Officer: Conor Mowlds
  • Head of Human Resources: Peter O'Shaughnessy

At A Glance – Port of Cork

Type of port: deepwater, multi-model, Panamax, warm-water
Available berths: Up to ten
Wharves: 1
Employees: 113
Chief Executive: Brendan Keating
Annual cargo tonnage: 9,050,000
Annual container volume: 165,000

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