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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
 Belvelly Port
In 2017 the Port of Cork jointly with Lanber Holdings purchased Marino Point, a deep-water port facility in Cork Harbour and set up Belvelly Marino Development Company which operates as Belvelly Port Facility. Following consultation with Belvelly Marino Development Company,…
Iconic Sign: The Port of Cork sign located at the entrance to the city on Custom House Quay.
At the entrance to Cork city is the iconic Port of Cork sign which should be retained when the site is redeveloped the Green Party has said. A planning application, reports EchoLive.ie, has been lodged for Ireland's tallest building located…
The Marino Point jetty in Cork Harbour, the site of the former chemical factory IFI
According to EchoLive questions regarding plans for the long-awaited redevelopment of Marino Point, the former Irish Fertiliser Industries (IFI) site, near Cobh, will be taken by Port of Cork staff at two events in September. Two public information evenings are due…
CGI of the Port of Cork's €85m development to expand cargoship capacity facilities at Ringaskiddy terminal located in lower Cork Harbour which is now also to include an enlarged Customs Building given the likelihood of a hard Brexit
A doubling in the size of the customs building the Irish Examiner reports is planned by the Port of Cork at its Ringaskiddy terminal due to the increasing likelihood of a hard Brexit.  “We have to plan for the worst…
In 2018, the Port of Cork hosted 93 cruise ships, carrying in excess of 200,000 passengers and crew. The cruise ship visits continue in 2019 with the maiden call of Spirit of Discovery Cruise Liner (above) this July
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…
'Spirit of Discovery in Cobh; this brand new luxury boutique British liner carries 999 passengers. Scroll down for photo gallery below
The latest cruise ship from Saga Cruises, the highly anticipated 'Spirit of Discovery' has docked in Cobh on her make her maiden call to a wet Cork Harbour today. As Afloat's Jehan Ashmore wrote yesterday, this brand new, luxury boutique British liner carries 999 passengers on…
 Spirit of Discovery will make her maiden call to Cobh today
The latest cruise ship from Saga Cruises, the highly anticipated Spirit of Discovery will make her maiden call to Cobh on Friday 19th July. As Afloat's Jehan Ashmore wrote yesterday, this brand new, luxury boutique British liner carries 999 passengers…
The Crown Princess cruise liner alongside in Cobh
Cruise Critic awards the highest-rated cruise destinations in 18 cruise regions across the globe in its annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards 2019 Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, has announced the winners of its…
The Port of Cork
Today, Port of Cork and Port of Amsterdam International, in the presence of His Majesty Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Máxima, as well as Minister Sigrid Kaag, signed a collaboration agreement in Cork. Both ports will research in what areas they…
Le Grand Bleu as seen in July 2010
The Port of Cork has advised of traffic delays on Cork’s city quays with the pending arrival of what’s being described as the world’s largest private yacht in the city this morning (Wednesday 12 June). Le Grand Bleu arrived in…
Evelyn Cusack, Doug Allan and Ken O'Sullivan, speakers in the Marine Institute’s Wild Atlantic Theatre at SeaFest 2019
Ireland’s largest free family-friendly maritime celebration attracted thousands of visitors to the port and city of Cork this past weekend. Cork was transformed into a giant interactive ‘sea world’ for the three days of SeaFest 2019, and the port was…
Sea Change At Seafest: Ireland’s Largest Free Maritime Festival To Raise Awareness Of Plastic Pollution
An interactive hut made up of 60kg of household plastics — the average amount used by an adult in Ireland each year — will be unveiled at SeaFest this weekend, highlighting the problem of plastics in our oceans. Ireland’s largest…
Brendan Keating, CEO of the Port of Cork at the British Irish Chamber event Business Beyond Brexit - "We have to survive as an economy now".
As the Irish Examiner writes the Port of Cork is poised to set up a special "border control" facility to help ease congestion at Dublin and Rosslare should Britain crash out of the EU. A British-Irish Chamber of Commerce meeting…
‘No public right of way’ exists over the deepwater quay in Cobh, says the Port of Cork Company
The Port of Cork has issued a “clarification” over its closures of the deepwater quay in Cobh after gardai were called to a recent protest at the facility. The Irish Examiner reports that there was what gardai described as a…
Overall winners Katelyn Stokes and Sandra Zoledziewska of St Columba's GNS with facility for deaf children, are all smiles along with from left: Susan Vickers of An Taisce Clean Coast Programme, Aoife Dineen of the Marine and Renewable Energy Centre Ireland (MaREI) and Sara Mackeown of the Port of Cork, at the Port of Cork primary schools initiative, at Custom House, Cork
Port of Cork Chairman, Mr. John Mullins congratulated St Columbas Girls National School for being awarded ‘Best Overall Project’ in the Port of Cork Schools Initiative 2019. Scoil Barra Naofa, Monkstown were given special recognition for their outstanding level of…
Port of Cork 'Highly Commended' at Seatrade Awards in 'Deal of the Year' Category
The Port of Cork and its partners were ‘highly commended’ at last night’s Seatrade Awards in the ‘Deal of the Year’ category in recognition of its work in securing significant funding for the development of the new Cork Container Terminal…

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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