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“One good Tern deserves another,” I was told in a discussion during the past week about the increasing importance of Dublin Bay in marine conservation terms – around the same time as Dublin Port announced that it was not going to extend itself any further in a way that might have caused disharmony - no more infilling and no eastwards extension.

That announcement extended, not the port itself, but its desire to increase friendship with the neighbours and ended a development process which dated back to the 18th century and the Great South Wall.

All of which seems to mean that Dublin Port will continue on the pre-determined course which the CEO, Eamon O'Reilly, outlined to me in a previous interview, of becoming a good neighbour with all the other interested parties who use Dublin Bay and that includes the leisure sector.

"A greenway overlooking the Tolka Estuary is amongst promised developments"

A greenway overlooking the Tolka Estuary is amongst promised developments and current works to deepen the port to 10 metres will be the final deepening. Previous plans to go to 12 metres will not proceed.

Dublin Port and Bay seems set for an interesting future with positive relations and there are very interesting island locations in the Bay, such as Rockabill and Dalkey, though there has been some trouble for the residents of the latter island.

Listen to the Podcast below for more about these developments

Check out Birdwatch Ireland's Rockabill Roseate Tern appeal below: 

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Dublin Port today launched its Masterplan 2040 Reviewed 2018, updating the long-term development plan for the port first published in 2012.

Masterplan 2040 Reviewed 2018 sets out four key changes to the port’s development plans:

  • The port will now be developed based on an average annual growth rate of 3.3% from 2010 to 2040 rather than the 2.5% originally proposed in 2012.
  • The capacity of the port will be increased to cater for a growth to an ultimate capacity of 77m gross tonnes by 2040 rather than the 60m gross tonnes as originally proposed in 2012.
  • This will be accomplished with no further infill into Dublin Bay. The option of increasing port capacity by an eastwards expansion into Dublin Bay has been definitively ruled out.
  • Where Masterplan 2012-2040 had envisaged deepening the port ultimately to 12.0m, this will not now happen and the current works to deepen the port to 10.0m will be the final deepening of Dublin Port, the end of a process which commenced in the 18th Century with the completion of the Great South Wall
  • Achieving a higher throughput on a smaller footprint than originally envisaged is being made possible by two initiatives:
  • Firstly, the development of the 44-hectare Dublin Inland Port located 14 km from Dublin Port just off the N2. Work has commenced on the development of Dublin Inland Port and the first facilities are due to be operational there during 2019.
  • Secondly, the specification of projects to maximise the use of port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula based on enhanced access via a new Southern Port Access Route (SPAR).

Masterplan 2040 Reviewed 2018 is the culmination of an 18-month review period, supported by extensive public consultation and the completion of major environmental studies, including a Strategic Transportation Study and a Strategic Environmental Assessment, which identifies reduced environmental impact from the developments now proposed compared to what was originally proposed in 2012.

From the plans highlighted in Masterplan 2040 Reviewed 2018, Dublin Port will bring the second major Masterplan project (the MP2 Project) forward for planning before the end of the year. This project will provide much needed additional capacity on the north side of the port for Ro-Ro and
Lo-Lo services to both the UK and Continental European markets.

Beyond this the Masterplan describes developments for port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula including the building of a new Southern Port Access Route (SPAR) to provide access between the Dublin Port Tunnel and the south port lands. These developments will constitute the third and final major Masterplan project and will be completed before 2035.

The Masterplan also identifies the need for reviews of port infrastructure charges to ensure that Dublin Port can be developed in line with Government policy (no exchequer funding) and in compliance with the EU Port Regulation 2017/352 due to come into effect in March 2019.

Commenting on the revised Masterplan, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive said:

“The revised Masterplan is founded on our commitment to the proper planning and sustainable development of Dublin Port. We have identified a series of projects which will bring the Port to its ultimate capacity by 2040 and, in doing this, support the objectives of Project Ireland 2040.

“Achieving sustainability is a considerable challenge and we are committed in Dublin Port to doing that in the case of port operations. Critically, the Masterplan provides certainty on the ultimate extent and environmental impact of the Port.

“As we build more capacity on the same footprint in Dublin Port, we will continue to work to achieve a re-integration of the Port with the City. Next year, for example, will see construction start on a 4km greenway for pedestrians and cyclists on the northern fringe of the port overlooking the Tolka Estuary. In the meantime, work is continuing on the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project and on other projects and we will invest €132m in port infrastructure this year alone.”

H1 2018 Trade Figures – 5.2% growth in cargo volumes

The launch of Masterplan 2040 Reviewed 2018 comes as Dublin Port trade figures for the first half of 2018 show growth of 5.2% with increases in both imports and exports. In the high value unitised cargo modes, Ro-Ro freight increased by 4.6% to 508,000 units signalling the likelihood that volumes for the full year will pass the one million units mark for the first time. The port’s container volumes increased by 5.8% to 356,000 TEU.

Imports of new trade vehicles have increased substantially with nearly 63,000 units passing through the port in the first six months of the year, an increase of 11.7% year-on-year.

Tourism volumes are ahead with 2.7% growth bringing ferry passenger numbers to almost 800,000 in the first six months of the year. There has also been substantial growth in cruise calls with 64 cruise calls so far this year compared to 50 last year.

Finally, imports of petroleum products and animal feed drove growth of 11.5% in bulk commodities to 3.4m tonnes.

Commenting on the half-year trade results, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive said:

“We had budgeted for growth of 5.0% this year but are now running at the higher rate of 5.2%. At this level, by the end of 2018, we will have seen growth of 37% in just six years. This is significantly higher than our Masterplan planning growth rate of 3.3% and highlights the need for us to build additional port capacity at a faster rate. Where we had been planning to invest €600m in the decade to 2027, we now know we need to spend €1,000m if we are to continue to provide capacity for our customers.

“Our investments match those of the major shipping lines such as Irish Ferries, Stena Line and CLdN, all of whom have already or will shortly introduce new larger ships on services between Dublin and both the UK and Continental Europe.

“There is much commentary on BREXIT at the moment and we continue to work with State Agencies such as Revenue and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to ensure that essential border control and inspection facilities are in place for March 2019, for December 2020 or whenever they might be required, if at all.

“Critically, however, we have not allowed BREXIT and all its uncertainties to diminish our focus on the long-term plans for the development of Dublin Port.”

Published in Dublin Port

The new Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, yesterday took to the waters of Dublin Bay to take part in the annual ‘Casting of the Spear’ ceremony.

The ‘Casting of the Spear’ is a tradition dating back 530 years and the first official duty for Lord Mayor Nial Ring as Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port at his investiture from Dublin Port Chairperson Lucy McCaffrey. The title of Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port has been bestowed on the Lord Mayor of Dublin for over 20 years.

Historical records show that the maritime tradition of the Casting the Spear dates back to 1488 when Thomas Mayler, who was then Lord Mayor of Dublin, rode out on horseback and cast a spear as far as he could into the sea - this was to mark the city’s boundaries eastwards. Centuries later, the re-enactment ceremony reminds us of Dublin’s role as a port city in medieval times and highlights Dublin Port’s remarkable history since its establishment as a trading post some 1,200 years ago.

Newly invested Honorary Admiral of Dublin Port Nial Ring said; "As someone who was born and reared beside Dublin Port, I am absolutely thrilled to have the honour of ‘Casting the Spear’ and marking the eastern boundary of the City. Also, having the distinction of becoming the Honorary Admiral of the Port is also very exciting and I'm delighted to assume this prestigious role. The year ahead is a particularly busy and active for Dublin Port as it continues to develop, expand and grow and I will be working closely with Dublin Port Company CEO Eamonn O'Reilly and his team to progress its projects under the Masterplan.”

There to witness the Casting of the Spear ceremony were members of the local port community enjoying the launch of the annual South Docks Festival. The South Docks Festival is run by the St. Andrew’s Resource Centre of Pearse Street in collaboration with a number of local clubs and groups, including Pearse Area Recreational Centre. It is a celebration of community and heritage, taking pride in the identity inherent in the South Dublin Docklands area. The festival began on Friday 13th July and will run until Friday 20th July with activities, fun and games for all.

Dublin Port Chairperson Lucy McCaffrey commented at the ceremony; “I would like to thank Lord Mayor Ring for his participation in the Casting of the Spear, a ceremony that celebrates our heritage as a port city. Looking back to the origins of the ceremony, now more 500 years ago, it is extraordinary to think that our city’s boundaries were established by Thomas Mayler’s spear in the waters of medieval Dublin. Today’s re-enactment is symbolic of Dublin Port’s continued commitment to preserving, for the city and its people, an understanding of the history that binds the port and the city.”

“It is great to celebrate the South Docks Festival, which brings together the communities of our docks and our nearest neighbours. I would like to congratulate the organisers of the festival on a tremendous programme of events and to encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the festivities.”

Published in Dublin Port

The hoped-for Parade of Sail at the end of Dublin's Tall Ships Regatta on the June Bank Holiday weekend will not be taking place. Instead, the ships will leave earlier on Bank Holiday Monday Morning. 'The Ships will leave together from Dublin but a parade of sail is unlikely and low key', according to a spokesperson.

As Afloat.ie reported earlier, the Tall Ships Regatta sails into Dublin Port from Friday, 1st June to Monday, 4th June. Organised by Sail Training International, the stopover in Dublin is hosted by Dublin City Council & Dublin Port Company.

This year, the Regatta features seventeen ships racing from Liverpool to Dublin. They will then continue on to the historic Bay of Biscay, finishing up in Bordeaux, France. While this event is not on the scale of the Tall Ships Races of the past, it will give maritime enthusiasts a flavour of what these majestic ships are like, up close.

More information here

Published in Tall Ships

Dublin Port Company is helping Irish Olympic diver Ollie Dingley (26) to scale new heights as the first corporate sponsor to support the rising star as he bids to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Dingley is an international diver who represents Ireland. He represented Ireland at the 2016 Summer Olympics. In doing so, he became the first Irish Diver to compete at the Olympics in 68 years. RTÉ’s highest rating sports event at the 2016 Olympics was Dingley’s 3m springboard final, with an average of 388,000 viewers.  Dingley has won numerous national and international medals.

The Dublin Port announcement comes after Ollie competed in the 3m individual springboard at the Canada Cup, - part of the FINA Diving Grand Prix- and ahead of June’s FINA Diving World Cup in China and August’s European Championships in Glasgow.

The diver made a strong start to 2018 taking gold for Shamrock Diving Club at the British Diving Championships and earning a score of 447.10 – a new Irish record, improving on the mark he set at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. This standout performance meant the DIT student qualified for the FINA Diving World Cup. Building on this, Ollie collected three gold medals just weeks later at the Senet Diving Cup in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Focused on improving on his 8th place in the final at the Rio Olympic Games, Ollie is now working on the technicality of his dives as he turns his focus to Tokyo 2020.

The partnership with Dublin Port Company will also see Ollie lend his skills to a range of initiatives in the port’s communities, including summer outings to the National Aquatic Centre for young people from the inner city, mentoring for Dublin Port’s scholarship programme which helps to facilitate access to third level education, and as a new ambassador for mental health charity Aware. Aware’s 16-mile Harbour2Harbour Walk between Howth and Dun Laoghaire is supported by Dublin Port Company, with more than 2,000 walkers turning out annually to raise vital funds and awareness for the charity.

Ollie Dingley said: “I would like to thank Eamonn and Dublin Port Company for their ongoing support. Having access to a car has made a significant difference to me on a personal level, as it has given me stability. It has also allowed me the flexibility to start a course in DIT. This has helped in my overall development outside of the diving pool which has led to better performances and a great start to 2018. I am also really looking forward to supporting Dublin Port’s community work.”

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “Dublin Port is proud to support one of Ireland’s most talented athletes and we wish Ollie every success in his preparations for Tokyo 2020. Dublin Port Company’s support aims to make a real difference to Ollie’s training at such an important time in his career and we look forward to seeing him progress even further. We’re also thrilled to have him as a role model on important issues in our community, including access to third level education, and minding mental and physical health. I know his contribution will be a fantastic addition to Dublin Port’s long-standing commitment to local communities across a host of sports, education and arts programmes.”

Published in Dublin Port

The 330m Royal Princess cruise ship arrived in Dublin this afternoon carrying more than 3,000 passengers and crew. Her arrival kickstarts a record cruise season for Dublin Port with 151 cruise calls confirmed for 2018, bringing just over 270,000 visitors to the city.

The Royal Princess will hold a commanding presence in the city’s port with her size more than two-and-a-half times the length of Dublin’s Spire (which stands at 121 meters) and her 66-meter height making her taller than Liberty Hall. The ship also holds the prestige of being christened by The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.

2018 Cruise Season Highlights

Among the 151 cruise calls confirmed for 2018, there are nine maiden calls. This year 23 cruise calls will feature ships longer than 300m including the 330m Regal Princess on September 13th. Dublin Port is increasingly attracting the largest ships in the world’s fleet emphasising Dublin’s attraction as a popular destination on the itineraries of all the largest cruise line companies.

New for 2018 is a mini-season of five full turnaround cruises that will see more than 14,000 people start and end their cruise holiday in Dublin Port on board leading luxury liner Celebrity Eclipse. Beginning last Sunday (April 29th), Celebrity Eclipse became the first major cruise ship to call Dublin a “home port”. Underscoring the growing trend towards home-porting, this year’s cruise season also features 17 further partial turnarounds, meaning cruise passengers can either start or end their journey at Dublin Port. 

Economic Benefit

Growth in home-porting brings added economic benefit to Dublin City and the surrounding counties, as turnaround passengers typically extend their stay by three to four days either side of their cruise departure or arrival date. The five full turnarounds and 17 partial turnarounds will bring an additional €10 million boost to the City’s tourist earning as passengers seek out luxury hotel accommodation, dining, retail and visitor experiences. Combined with port of call passengers, the overall economic contribution of Dublin Port’s 2018 cruise season to the local economy will surpass €50 million.

Royal Princess in Overview

Today, the Royal Princess was welcomed into port by the sights and sounds of entertainment from Irish dancers and drummers as passengers disembarked for a day’s sightseeing and shopping around the city. 

Having arrived from Cobh, the Royal Princess will depart for Belfast at 6pm tomorrow night (Saturday 5th May) before spending nine days at sea and arriving at her final destination of Southampton. It is all part of a 28-night crossing originating in Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

On board, guests enjoy luxury accommodation, a choice of restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs, as well as a spa, solarium and fitness centre, rock climbing wall, running track, basketball court and a driving range, in addition to swimming pools, cinemas, art gallery, theatre, shopping mall and casino.

Pat Ward, Cruise Business Manager, Dublin Port Company, said: “We are pleased to announce a record cruise season for Dublin Port, with 151 cruise calls and more than 275,000 visitors confirmed for 2018. We are seeing growing demand for Dublin Port on passenger itineraries from the world’s leading cruise lines, with more requests to accommodate larger ships and strong demand for turnarounds. An estimated 90% of turnaround passengers will fly into Dublin Airport to begin their cruise holidays, and these passengers alone account for one-fifth of the €50 million boost to the local economy from cruise tourism this year. As our cruise business evolves, Dublin Port Company remains firmly focused on future-proofing our infrastructure to accommodate larger and larger ships of all types including cruise ships, passenger ferries and cargo ships.”

Ship statistics

Christened by The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton in 2013.
Length: 330 meters
Height: 66 meters
Capacity: 3,560 guests and 1,346 crew.
Number of decks: 19
Guest cabins: 1,780
Tonnage: 141,000
Inaugural Cruise: 16th June 2013

Published in Dublin Port

MV Celine, the world’s largest short sea Ro-Ro ship, was christened yesterday in a ceremony at Dublin Port with guest of honour, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, Godmother to the new ship, Geraldine O’Reilly, and the port’s chaplains. The formal ceremony is a long-held tradition intended to bring good fortune to the ship and involves breaking a champagne bottle against the hull as the ship is christened.

To mark the occasion, new Irish music commissioned by Dublin Port and performed by John Sheahan of the Dubliners and Colm Mac Con Iomaire of the Frames premiered at the ceremony, heralding the ship’s naming in front of invited guests representing her Luxembourg-based owner CLdN and the wider European shipping industry.

MVCelineDublinPort 352 1Pictured at the Port ceremony was Eamonn O'Reilly CEO, Dublin Port Company, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, Godmother to the ship, Geraldine O’Reilly and Christian Cigrang, CEO, CLdN. MV Celine, the world’s largest short sea Ro-Ro ship

ABR Project Milestone

With a capacity of 8,000 lane-meters, MV Celine represents the next generation of super ferries servicing Dublin Port. Significantly, her arrival marks a new milestone in the multi-million-euro ABR Project to futureproof Dublin Port. Such is her size, MV Celine would not have been able to call into Dublin Port had development works on three kilometres of berths not already commenced.

The 235m long ship was constructed in South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Shipyard

The 235m long ship was constructed in South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Shipyard before being deployed to her homeports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. In October 2017, MV Celine made her maiden call into Dublin, providing additional capacity for customers trading with Continental Europe via the ports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.

Cargo volumes at Dublin Port reached a new record in 2017 as 36.4 million tonnes passed through the port including one million Ro-Ro units. CLdN’s direct freight services to Continental Europe is providing the capacity for this increasing demand with importers and exporters seeking alternatives for the efficient movement of goods, particularly with the reality of Brexit looming.

Q1 2018 Trade Figures

New figures released today show that cargo volumes at Dublin Port grew by 3.4% in Q1 2018 to exceed nine million gross tonnes for the quarter. Imports for the first three months of the year rose by 4.3% while exports increased by 2.1%. Most of the port’s cargo is comprised of freight trailers and containers and both sectors showed continued strong growth, with Ro-Ro up by 2.5% and Lo-Lo container volumes ahead by 5.3%.

On the passenger and vehicle side of the business, imports of trade vehicles in the first three months jumped by 14.2%, while passenger volumes climbed by 8.6%. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles grew by 6.4%. Furthermore, Dublin Port’s cruise business will see 154 cruise ship arrivals, bringing a record-breaking 275,000 visitors to the city this year, including 10 maiden calls and five full turnaround cruises.

Dublin Port's Financial Dividend

Dublin Port has also confirmed that it will pay a dividend to the State of €12.2m in 2018, bringing the aggregate dividend payment since 2007 to €113.4m. The dividend follows a strong financial performance in 2017, during which turnover grew by 4.7% to €85.5m and Profit after tax increased by 3.9% to €40.6m.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, TD said: “It is a pleasure to be here today in Dublin Port for the christening of this magnificent new vessel, the MV Celine. I would like to congratulate CLdN on its continued commitment to providing enhanced cargo shipping into and out of Ireland. I also congratulate their environmentally friendly approach by developing a vessel that allows for dual fuel propulsion and lower carbon emissions. The MV Celine is the largest short-sea roll-on/roll-off vessel in the world and will strengthen Ireland’s trade links with Europe by providing direct services from Dublin to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.”

A representative of CLdN, said: “Choosing to name CLdN’s first of the next generation of Ro-Ro vessels, MV Celine, in Dublin is testament to CLdN’s belief in our Irish / Continental trade lane and appreciation of the support given over the past decade by Dublin Port Company and our dynamic team in Ireland.

“CLdN commenced services to Dublin Port in October 2009 and these have grown strongly as the Irish economy recovered to the point today where we offer seven calls weekly from Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.

“The timing of MV Celine’s delivery is opportune, allowing CLdN to be well positioned to develop the Irish / Continental trade lane offering a viable and direct alternative to the UK landbridge.”

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “It is an honour for Dublin Port to host the christening of MV Celine at such an exciting time for Dublin Port. The addition of new ships and sailings shows the shipping sector’s resilience and ability to adapt to changing customer needs, particularly in response to Brexit. We expect MV Celine will mark the beginning of additional new services to Continental Europe from Dublin Port over the coming years.”

Dublin Port trade figures for Q1 show continued strong growth

“Our trade figures for Q1 show continued strong growth, with cargo volumes up 3.4% as demand continues apace for the efficient movement of goods and people through Dublin Port. This is a particularly strong performance given the disruption of Storm Emma when the business of Dublin Port effectively stopped for two days.

“I am pleased that Dublin Port’s multi-million-euro investment programme has already delivered the first of new berths to accommodate customer investments in new vessels and routes, and MV Celine’s christening marks an important milestone in this regard.

“Based on our Masterplan, Dublin Port is investing €132m this year alone to ensure the timely delivery of new infrastructure and additional capacity to further facilitate Ireland’s trading needs. Capital investment of €1 billion is planned over the next decade.”

Dublin Port is investing €132m this year alone to ensure the timely delivery of new infrastructure

MV Celine is the newest vessel to join CLdN’s network, which specialises in short sea Ro-Ro cargo, and a second 8,000 lane-metre vessel, MV Delphine, has been delivered in January 2018 as the company further expands its fleet and operations in Europe.

CLdN currently operates 25 Ro-Ro vessels, offering more than 135 weekly sailings between the ports of Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, London, Killingholme, Dublin, Gothenburg, Esbjerg, Hirtshals, Santander, Porto, Flushing and Dagenham.

Published in Dublin Port

#DublinPort- Expansion in Dublin Port will happen at a faster than expected pace over the next 20 years as population growth boosts volumes passing through the country's main goods gateway, the semi-state company behind the port said.

As the Independent.ie writes, growth however will have to be accommodated without a physical expansion beyond the existing docks - ruling out reclamation or a major move.

In a revised masterplan published yesterday, Dublin Port Company said Ireland's biggest port - now needs to expand based on an assumption of 3.3pc annual growth in volumes between 2010 and 2040. That's higher than the 2.5pc annual growth pencilled in back in 2012.

"The past and projected growth to 2040 is in large part due to the growth in the country's population," the revised masterplan noted.

Dublin Port Company said that the annual volume of goods through the gateway is expected to rise to 77.2 million gross tonnes in 2040, from 2.9 million tonnes in 1950.

The current masterplan was first published in 2012. Since then, two major elements of the plan have got underway. They are the €277m Alexandra Basin Redevelopment scheme and the development in a so-called "inland port" on a 44-hectare site near Dublin Airport.

For further reading on this story,click here. 

Published in Dublin Port

The Commissioners of Irish Lights have deployed a temporary buoy in Scotsman’s Bay in south of Dublin Bay. 

The buoy has been deployed to test a wave generator system. The buoy is an IALA Special Mark, yellow in colour, bearing a yellow ‘X’ topmark with the light characteristic Fl.Y.5s.

The buoy is located on the following position: Latitude 53°17.519’N, Longitude 006°07.136’W, a location in an area where Dublin Bay Sailing Club will set marks for their Summer Season starting in April.

The Commissioners of Irish Lights buoy will be on station for approximately 3 months, according to a Dublin Port Company notice from Harbour Master Michael McKenna that is downloadable below.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dublin Port Company has today reported full year trading figures for 2017. The latest figures show that cargo volumes through Dublin Port hit record levels for the third successive year with growth of 4.3% to reach a new record level of 36.4m gross tonnes in 2017. This brings overall growth at Dublin Port in the five years since economic recovery began in 2013 to +30.1%.

To facilitate future growth, Dublin Port continues to invest in new infrastructure based on its Masterplan to 2040 and a programme of works is already underway. The company invested €75 million in port infrastructure in 2017 and plans to invest a further €132m during 2018. Thereafter, investment plans will need to accelerate to ensure that Dublin has sufficient port capacity for the years ahead.

Looking at the 2017 trade figures in detail, imports grew by 3.9% to 21.5m gross tonnes while exports grew more strongly by 4.9% to 14.9 million gross tonnes. Containers and freight trailers account for 83% of all cargo and both the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo sectors grew strongly. Ro-Ro grew by 5.0% in 2017 to almost one million Ro-Ro units (992,000). Lo-Lo container volumes grew by 5.2% to 698,000 TEU.

Imports of new trade vehicles were down by -4.6% in 2017, reflecting the large increase in used cars being brought into Ireland from the UK, driven by the weakness in Sterling. Year-on-year, the number of imported trade vehicles fell from 104,185 to 99,383.

Bulk liquid volumes, comprising mostly petroleum products, grew strongly by 6.6% to 4.3m gross tonnes driven by increasing road transport. On the other hand, Bulk solid commodities, such as animal feeds and grain, declined marginally by -1.0%.

Passenger volumes on ferries grew for the second year in a row with passenger numbers ahead by 1.8% to 1,846,553. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles grew by 1.9% to 514,908.

In addition, Dublin Port’s cruise business grew strongly with 127 cruise ship arrivals and growth of 32% in visitor numbers, breaking the 210,000-mark for the first time. Importantly, cruise ships are getting bigger and the average cruise ship calling at Dublin Port increased in size by 13.3%, from 39,946 gross tonnes to 45,270 gross tonnes.

Commenting on the results, Dublin Port’s Chief Executive, Eamonn O’Reilly, said:

“Growth of 4.3% in 2017 confirms that the longstanding trend of compounding annual growth in Dublin Port is back. Every year from 1993 to 2007 was a record year in Dublin Port. In the past three years we have seen this pattern re-emerge, with 2017 the third year in a row for record growth. We are projecting another record year in 2018 with growth of about 5%. Dublin Port’s growth is driven by domestic demand and both population growth and a stronger economy will continue to drive volumes up for the foreseeable future.

“Dublin Port’s multi-million euro infrastructure investment programme is matching our customers’ continuing investments in new ships. Irish Ferries has committed €165m in a huge new ship for the Dublin-Holyhead route due by mid-2020. Later this year, the €150m W.B. Yeats will commence a service from Dublin to Cherbourg. In October last year, CLdN introduced the enormous 8,000 lane metre MV Celine on its Dublin to Zeebrugge / Rotterdam service.

“While BREXIT brings uncertainties and challenges to our business, the combination of investments by our customers and by Dublin Port is underpinned by a shared confidence in the future. Over the next two months, we will finalise our plans for the required re-introduction of border controls on trade with Britain and I am confident that the controls required will not significantly hinder the movement of goods or people through Dublin Port.”

Published in Dublin Port
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