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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Port of Cork, Custom House Street, Cork, T12 CY88

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Port of Cork Shipping & Cruise Liner News
Celebrity Eclipse off Cobh was ranked second place at the inaugural Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards
#CobhAward – TripAdvisor which owns Cruise Critic, the world's largest cruise review site and online cruise community, has announced Cobh as among the winners of the inaugural Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards. In the British Isles and Western Europe…
#NewBerth - A new €15m deep-water quay in Cobh is in the planning by the Port of Cork, to handle the increasing number of large cruise liners expected to arrive in the near future. The Irish Examiner writes the port…
Port of Cork – Turnover for the year 2015 amounted to €29.8 million up from €26.4 million in 2014
2015 was a very good year for the Port of Cork and subsidiaries. The combined traffic amounted to 11.02 million tonnes compared to 10.15 million tonnes in 2015 which represented an increase of 871,713 million tonnes or 8.6%. Container traffic…
Ringaskiddy, Port of Cork which saw increased profits in 2015 to almost €4.5m
#ProfitsUp - The Port of Cork through increased activity saw profits increase by 79% to almost €4.5m last year, reports the Irish Examiner. The State-owned company, which oversees port operations in Cork, saw revenue from charges to port users and…
The historic Bonded Warehouses that form the Port of Cork HQ site in the city centre
#PortCorkSite - Elected representatives were dismayed to be told yesterday that Cork City Council does not have plans for the historic site, which was once earmarked for a National Diaspora Centre. The Evening Echo reports that in recent weeks, the…
 Kealkill National School were winners of ‘Best Overall Project’ in this year’s primary schools initiative
Bantry Bay Port Company has announced Kealkill National School as winners of ‘Best Overall Project’ in this year’s primary schools initiative. Local 5th class primary schools were invited to take part and submit a project based on the theme ‘A…
MSC Splendida carrying 4,500 passengers which berthed in Cobh
#BusyCork - Cork's economy writes the Evening Echo, is set to be boosted by cruiseships bringing almost 20,000 passengers and crew expected in a 10-day period. Port of Cork officials estimate that 13,500 passengers and 5,000 crew will pass through…
A major coup for Port of Cork in landing potentially lucrative first direct freight shipping service between Cuba and northern Europe
#CorksCubaCoup - A major coup for the Port of Cork has been achieved in landing a potentially lucrative spot on the first direct freight shipping service from northern Europe to Cuba since economic sanctions were removed on the Caribbean country.…
Container Ship MV Northern Dedication calls to Port of Cork
Tomorrow,  container ship MV Northern Dedication will berth at the Port of Cork’s Deepwater Berth in Ringaskiddy as part of a weekly scheduled call from Central America to Cork. This container ship is the largest container ship to berth in…
New Tug ‘Celtic Fergus’ Arriving at Port of Cork Deepwater Berth in Ringaskiddy
Cork shipping company Celtic Tugs, a subsidiary of Irish Mainport Holdings, have purchased a new Tug which arrived into Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth in the Port of Cork on 31st March. The new tug is expected to rejuvenate the company’s existing…
L to R: Captain Michael McCarthy Port of Cork, Hendrick Verwey Cobh Tidy Towns, Brendan Keating Port of Cork and Ruth Ring Cobh Tidy Towns
The commitment and effort of the Cobh Tidy Town volunteers in maintaining the landscape of Cobh town was acknowledged by the Port of Cork today when they handed over the keys to a small pickup truck. The truck will enable…
Historic US Cruises to Cuba! Adonia, P&O Cruises smallest cruiseship berthed at Cobh last year. The ship is from Spring to operate week-long trips from Miami, Florida for new brand ‘fathom’. Passengers are to participate in 'impact-travel' concept cruises that involve social-programmes to assist communities while visiting Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
#2ndCruiseBerth - The feasibility of building a second cruise berth in Cobh is been explored by the Port of Cork, which would greatly enhance Cork’s ability to attract more liners, reports The Evening Echo. The port’s commercial manager, Michael McCarthy,…
An artist's impression of the Ringaskiddy port redevelopment
#PortOfCork - Next Wednesday 23 March is the closing date for tenders for the €100 million redevelopment of the Port of Cork's Ringaskiddy port, according to The Irish Times. Plans for a new container shipping terminal at the Cork Harbour…
Captain Mike McCarthy of the Port of Cork
The Port of Cork is set to attend Seatrade Cruise Global, the Cruise Industry’s Premier Global event next week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Seatrade Cruise Global is one of the key events in the cruise calendar and guarantees to bring…
Port of Cork, expansion at Ringaskiddy Deepwater Port
#Expansion - The Port of Cork is set to gain €30m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to development the country's biggest natural harbour. The project, with the Port of Cork as borrower, is currently going through an appraisal process…
#BantryUpgrade - Following a public tender process, BAM Civil Ltd has been appointed as the main contractor by Bantry Bay Port Company to undertake the new Bantry Inner Harbour Development, as reported earlier today on Afloat.ie. This development marks the…

Port of Cork Information

The Port of Cork is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of only two Irish ports which service the requirements of all six shipping modes i.e., Lift-on Lift-off, Roll-on Roll-off, Liquid Bulk, Dry Bulk, Break Bulk and Cruise. Due to its favourable location on the south coast of Ireland and its modern deep-water facilities, the Port of Cork is ideally positioned for additional European trading as well as for yet unexploited direct deep-sea shipping services.

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.  

Further notable sustainability projects also include:

  • The Port of Cork have invested in 2 x STS cranes – Type single lift, Model P (148) L, (WS) Super. These cranes contain the most modern and energy-efficient control and monitoring systems currently available on the market and include an LED floodlight system equipped with software to facilitate remote diagnostics, a Crane Management System (CMS) and an energy chain supply on both cranes replacing the previous preferred festoon cabling installation.
  • The Port of Cork has installed High Mast Lighting Voltage Control Units at its two main cargo handling locations – Tivoli Industrial & Dock Estate and Ringaskiddy Deep-water & Ferry Terminals. This investment has led to more efficient energy use and reduced risk of light pollution. The lights can also be controlled remotely.
  • The Port of Cork’s largest electrical consumer at Tivoli Container Terminal is the handling and storage of refrigerated containers. Local data loggers were used to assess energy consumption. This provided timely intervention regarding Power Factor Correction Bank efficiency on our STS (Ship to Shore) Cranes and Substations, allowing for reduced mains demand and reducing wattless energy losses along with excess charges. The information gathered has helped us to design and build a reefer storage facility with energy management and remote monitoring included.

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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