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Port of Cork Improves Performance in 2012

24th July 2013
Port of Cork Improves Performance in 2012

#portofcork – The Port of Cork Company have today announced their annual results for 2012 and despite the on-going national economic downturn; the port returned an improved performance in 2012 compared to 2011.

Total traffic in volume terms amounted to 9.05 million tonnes, against a volume of 8.8 million tonnes in 2011. Turnover amounted to €21.8 million, an increase of 1.87% and after deducting costs, the profit on ordinary activities before taxation amounted to €1.36 million.

Commenting on the 2012 annual results, Port of Cork Chief Executive, Brendan Keating said: "We are pleased to announce our 2012 results today which have returned an improved performance compared to 2011."

He continued: "Reliable accessible ports delivering prosperity is vital to the achievement of economic recovery in Ireland. We see investment in handling equipment and facilities as key to the future of our business and that of our customers and we are intent on growing our business. The Port of Cork is central to a brighter future for the Irish economy because of the value it brings in moving goods to market for both customers and businesses alike."

Throughout 2012, the company maintained its commitment to capital investment by making additions to fixed assets of up to €6 million. This brings investment levels by the company, since incorporation in 1997, to €103 million. Recent achievements in 2012 saw the Port of Cork complete a new compound in Ringaskiddy to accommodate a new Maersk transatlantic service which commenced in January 2012. This is the first Lo-Lo (Lift on Lift off) deep sea service in Ireland. A new dry bulk store at the Deep-water berth in Ringaskiddy was completed by port customer Arkady, which has helped to increase the volume of trade through the port. This will also help to facilitate the growth of the dry bulk sector. In 2012 the Port of Cork also took delivery of a new pilot boat named 'Failte' and won the business of servicing the Exxon Mobil oil exploration project.

Oil Traffic at Philips 66, Whitegate Oil Refinery amounted to 5 million tonnes, an increase of 1.36%. Non-oil traffic amounted to 3.64 million tonnes showing an increase on 2011 of 6%.

Container traffic through the port increased by 6%, bringing the total volume of containers handled at the port in 2012, to 166,285 TEU. Currently the Port of Cork has weekly container services calling to mainland Europe, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Zeebrugee and Southampton. A deep sea transatlantic container service linking Central America to North West Europe also operates weekly.

While the liquid bulk and container traffic increased, imports of animal feedstuffs also increased. The Port of Cork anticipates further increases in the agri-business, particularly when the reforms to the CAP come into effect in 2015.

In 2012, the Port of Cork welcomed 57 cruise liners, carrying in excess of 100,000 passengers and crew to the region. The visiting cruise liners make a very significant contribution to the economy. The investments made by the Port in recent years developing the cruise facilities in Cobh, continue to show positive returns with booking levels continuing to grow year on year. At the global annual cruise shipping exhibition, Seatrade Miami 2012, the Port of Cork was awarded 'Best Shore Side Welcome' and 'Best Tour Guides'. These awards highlight the commitment and effort the Port of Cork make for every cruise liner calling to Cork.

Brittany Ferries' weekly passenger service from Cork to Roscoff had another successful season operating between March and November 2012. The Port of Cork remains fully committed to establishing new routes from Cork and continues to work to develop a route from Cork to Northern Spain.

Consistent with the Strategic Development Plan Review of 2012, the Port of Cork is planning for the delivery of new Port infrastructure in the lower harbour. This key infrastructure will be required to service the businesses of Ireland for the next 20 years, as they grow and prosper and avail of trading opportunities in global markets. In 2012, by way of planning for this infrastructure, the port carried out a consultation process with An Bord Pleanála. Following the recent publication by Government of the National Ports Policy Statement, in which the Port of Cork was highlighted as a Tier 1 port of National Significance, it is hoped that such recognition will help to accelerate the consultation process. The Port of Cork proposes to lodge a planning application with An Bord Pleanála by the end of 2013, following further public consultation and community engagement.

During 2012, the port was involved in a number of local community based projects in Cork Harbour. Additionally, the very successful schools initiative organised by the port, continues to grow. Now in its seventh year, the initiative attracts up to 20 primary schools from the Cork city and harbour area and helps raise awareness of the Port of Cork and Cork Harbour among 5th class children.

Sustaining the quality of the environment in Cork Harbour, particularly in areas which have the potential to be affected or influenced by Port Operations remains a priority for the Company. The Port of Cork is as always committed to the highest standards of environmental management through the implementation of the environmental management programme and standards consistent with the renewed ISO14001 accreditation and Eco Ports foundation.

Published in Port of Cork Team

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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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