Displaying items by tag: Irish ports
Exports from Ireland in February saw a sharp fall, according to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), although it appears that this was a result of a downturn in sales of chemicals and pharmaceuticals rather than the coronavirus.
Those sales account for nearly half of all exports.
Seasonally adjusted exports fell by €2.2bn or 16pc €11.6bn, the CSO said yesterday.
Irish exports to China - which make up a tiny proportion of the overall number - actually rose from a year ago. €1.7bn in January and February of this year compared to €1.15bn in the same period of 2019 were destined for the Asian marketplace.
“We have to plan for the worst now at this stage,” said Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Keating.
Already, a large number of HGVs from the North use ferry connections from Cork to get to Brittany in France and Santander in Spain. If a hard Brexit occurs, it is likely that increased HGV traffic will use the routes out of Cork.
The Port of Cork is investing €85m in developing expanded cargo-handling facilities at its deepwater terminal Ringaskiddy. It has successfully applied to Bord Pleanála to increase the size of a previously permitted customs’ inspection building at Ringaskiddy from 324sq m to 648sq m, primarily in light of the uncertainty over Brexit.
“We have to have the capability to put the necessary checks in place,” Mr Keating said, adding that, if a hard Brexit occurs, there is likely to be more demand for freight and cargo to transit via Dublin and Rosslare ports as well.
The newspaper has more here
An Irish and Welsh project is seeking to unlock the cultural potential of the Irish ports of Dublin and Rosslare, and the Welsh ports of Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke Dock.
The research according to the NewRossStandard, will explore the cultures, traditions and histories of these ports, so that their cultural heritages can become a driver of economic growth.
The four-year project titled 'Ports, Pasts and Present: Cultural Crossings between Ireland and Wales' is a joint initiative with University College Cork (UCC) and Wexford County Council in Ireland, and in Wales with Aberystwyth University and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies at the University of Wales,Trinity Saint David.
The project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme and is led by UCC.
The Welsh Minister for International Relations, Eluned Morgan said he was pleased to announce the exciting new project which aimes to help turn five Welsh and Irish ports into vibtant tourist destinations in their own right.
For comments from the Welsh Minister and more click here.
Almost €8 million, The Irish Times reports, has been spent by the State buying land and developing properties at Dublin Port, Dublin airport and Rosslare Europort for border checks post-Brexit.
Paschal Donohoe the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said the Office of Public Works (OPW) has spent €7.8 million to date on acquiring and developing physical infrastructure for use at the two ports and the airport.
The Minister revealed the spending on infrastructure for a no-deal Brexit in response to a parliamentary question tabled by Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath.
The State has taken control of a 13,000sq m warehouse at Dublin Port previously owned by businessman Harry Crosbie, and purchased 16 acres outside Rosslare port that was owned by car dealer Bill Cullen.
Both men lost control of the properties in the financial crash. Mr Donohoe did not provide a breakdown of the State’s spending on the individual properties.
The State fast-tracked the takeover of the former Crosbie warehouse and the Rosslare property for inspections of goods and containers should the UK leave the EU without a deal on March 31st. The Brexit date has since been extended until October 31st.
To continue reading more on Control Post click here.
#CruiseLiners - Classic cruiseship Marco Polo arrived to the Irish capital today as part of a Dublin Festive Mini-Cruise which includes an overnight call, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) are the only operators serving Irish ports with this first of two separate festive themed cruises providing sightseeing and gift shopping opportunities. On completion of this three-night cruise which is to return to Avonmouth, (Port of Bristol) on Wednesday, passengers are to disembark in the port on the Severn Estuary.
Marco Polo dating to 1965, with capacity for 800 passengers which is small by today's standards, however given its classic former Soviet era liner heritage, this partially lends to an intimate atmosphere on board, noting interior lounge areas. In addition, there's plenty of open deck space featuring the classic horseshoe shaped aft decks and notably those forward, affording convenient views when visiting destinations, albeit given this time of the year, it would be the more hardy type to venture outside!
Also this Wednesday, another round of cruise-goers for the second cruise, marketed as the Festive Ireland Party Cruise commences with an afternoon departure. This cruise, again of three-night duration is to call to Cork (Cobh) Harbour on Thursday, where likewise of the Dublin cruise, an overnight will be spent on this occasion in the scenic Munster harbour town.
By overnighting in Cobh, this will enable those to also take in the tourist attractions of Cork City, given Marco Polo does not depart until Friday afternoon. An overnight passage follows across the Celtic Sea with a scheduled arrival back once more in Avonmouth, with an arrival on Saturday at around dawn.
#Ports&Shipping - The European Commission has drawn up proposals for developing maritime links between Ireland and continental Europe as part of contingency plans for a possible 'no deal' Brexit outcome.
As RTE News reports, Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has seen an internal document which details a series of "planned European Commission proposals" for "Brexit preparedness".
They deal with changes in a wide range of areas such as banking, imposing tariffs, energy efficiency, medicine, visa and transport.
Among the proposals is a plan to design a new maritime route to link Ireland and the continental part of the North Sea-Mediterranean corridor.
Speaking to RTÉ at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Ms Ní Riada said: "It’s very reassuring and positive for us to see this document. It is coming from the Secretary General of the Commission, Martin Selmayr, and it outlines the need to create a maritime channel, or a bridge, metaphorically speaking, from Ireland to the rest of Europe."
She believes the plan could see investment in existing Irish ports through the Connecting Europe Facility, an EU fund for developing transport infrastructure.
To read more on the proposed direct maritime shipping links, click here.
#Ports&Shipping - At significant risk of isolation will be Ireland following Brexit and this will need EU funding to shore up the lack of connectivity to major European routes says the Port of Cork chief executive.
As the Irish Examiner writes, Brendan Keating says there was a case to be made for grant aid from EU institutions following the UK leaving the bloc.
“We will be significantly more isolated because of Brexit. I’m concerned about maritime transport connectivity. State aid rules as currently constituted don’t allow EU support of the purchase of ships or that kind of mobile asset, I believe.
“However, I do believe some kind of subvention can be issued to operators of such ships for such services.
“We have similar arrangements in terms of the servicing of regional airports of this country, to the public service obligations-type instruments.
For further comments and developments for the Port of Cork click here.
This is according to the 11th annual edition of the Irish Maritime Transport Economist publication.
Irish Maritime Development Office director Liam Lacey commented that the increase gives "cause for greater optimism than has been the case in recent years.
"The volume of trade that moves through Irish ports is a reliable indicator of national economic performance and activity," he added.
“Although traffic through Irish ports has not returned to the levels that were recorded prior to the recession, it is noteworthy that the iShip Index, which is an aggregate measure of trade volumes, rose to 862 points for 2013, up 3% on the previous year."
Within this increase, figures show that Ro/Ro volumes rose by 6% buoyed by transfers from the Lo/Lo mode, while dry-bulk traffic also grew by 6%, resulting mostly from an increased demand for animal feed and coal.
“Additional demand for construction-related materials contributed to break-bulk traffic growing to 961,803 tonnes, up 20% on the previous year," said Lacey, who added that while liquid-bulk and Lo/Lo traffic fell by 14% and 1% respectively, these decreases in volume were caused by market anomalies rather than a reduction in total demand.
Meanwhile, within the tourism sector, Irish ports "continued to capitalise on the global rise in cruise business over the last decade, as vessel calls to the island of Ireland rose to 277 during 2013.
"In this category, the majority of visitors came from North America, Britain and Germany," said Lacey.
Ferry tourism, encompassing services between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain, also showed an increase of 1% to 2.33 million passengers. "This increase marks an important turning point as growth returns to a market segment that has been in decline since 2010," said the IMDO director.
As for the first four-plus month of 2014, Lacey said preliminary figures "suggest that the trends in the maritime transport sector that were observed in 2013 have continued and that a degree of cautious optimism is justified.”
Commenting on the report, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said he welcomed initiatives being undertaken by Ireland's ports "to provide the additional capacity that will be needed as our economy continues to recover and expand.
"I also welcome recent increases in shipping capacity and the development of new trade routes. These developments auger well for economic growth and are supportive of the objectives of the National Ports Policy and the Government’s plan for National Recovery 2011-2016.
"As reported in the IMTE, the international shipping environment remains challenging. Nonetheless, we have begun to see signs of recovery in the Irish maritime sector, as evidenced by the growth in trade, through Irish ports in 2013.”
Last week the minister announced the publication of the FOI Bill, which intends to extend FOI to all public bodies in line with the commitment included in the Programme for Government.
However, a list of 38 commercial State companies are to be exempted from the mandate to fulfil FOI requests, as detailed on page 78 (Schedule 1 Part 2) of the bill - available as a PDF to read or download HERE.
This list includes the Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners, the Drogheda Port Company, the Dublin Port Company, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, the Galway Harbour Company, the New Ross Port Company, the Port of Cork Company, the Port of Waterford Company, the Shannon Foynes Port Company and the Wicklow Port Company.
According to The Irish Times, the reason for these exemptions is "so as not to diminish the ability of such bodies to perform their core functions, or in the interests of the security or financial interests of the State".
#IrishExPORTS – A weak international demand has seen a fall of 10% on the value of Irish exports during the month of February.
New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) indicate exports decreased by €753 million to €6.65 billion in February compared with the same period last year.
The decline was driven by a 15 per cent (€309 million) fall in exports of medical and pharmaceutical products and an 18 per cent (€286 million) drop in organic chemical exports.
To read more on this story The Irish Times has a report.