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Displaying items by tag: Dublin Port

New customs checkpoints in Dublin Port are expected to be a ‘pinch point’ for hauliers, according to the port company’s chief executive.

Eamonn O'Reilly tells RTÉ News that delays are likely to result from the new border inspection posts as Brexit would see a dramatic overnight increase in non-EU trade.

The new checkpoints are the first to be built in the port for decades, as their necessity waned in the 1990s thanks to free trade within the EU.

As previously reported on, all sea freight requiring checks post-Brexit will be inspected at a 13,000m warehouse formerly owned by businessman Harry Crosbie.

Published in Dublin Port
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Two of my favourite waterside places along the Liffey are in Dublin Port – Ringsend and Poolbeg.

The maritime history of Ringsend is part of the marine story of Ireland, an area resonant of seafaring history and Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club is a place where, whenever I have been there, has always been welcoming, with a warm friendship of the sea.

They are both connected with a marine project which shows how the sea can influence lives in a very positive way, reaching out to those who may not have had any previous connection with it.

"The maritime history of Ringsend is part of the marine story of Ireland"

The 42 ft. ketch, the Rinn Voyager, is well known and has impressed me when I’ve seen her at Poolbeg. But she is much more than just a nice boat. She is the maritime face of a project which has helped to preserve marine skills and rehabilitated marginalised, disadvantaged people and recovering addicts. More than 7,000 users of the Drugs & Alcohol Task Force have benefited from the project. It is the embodiment of positive community and social activism. Dublin Port, with its programme of reaching out to the community, has been a strong supporter. FáS supported the project and so did many others and unemployed people, people with boat-building skills and school leavers built it. As a result, skills were maintained, passed on to younger people. Twenty-five years since it was launched, when the Rinn Voyager Sailing Project began, one of the hopes would be for a second vessel like the Rinn Voyager to increase the reach of the project.

Listen to the Podcast below as Denis Murphy describes what this special vessel, the Rinn Voyager, has achieved.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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As reported earlier, the No.11 Liffey Ferry aka the “dockers’ taxi” is back in service after 35 years following a restoration project involving Richie Saunders of Ringsend, the Irish Nautical Trust, Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council.

It is the first time the boat has been in service since 1984 to taxi the public north and south of the river, with each crossing to cost €2 starting 11th February 2019. 

DockersTaxi15NEW ERA FOR THE NO.11: Richie Saunders, of Ringsend, Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring; CEO of Dublin Port Company Eamonn O’Reilly; and Jimmy Murray of the Irish Nautical Trust at the blessing of the No.11 Liffey Ferry which is back on the water after 35 years to ferry people north and south of the river in a new joint project between Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council, run by the Irish Nautical Trust in aid of a new maritime training programme

Published in Dublin Port
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Dublin Port Company has today reported full-year trading figures for 2018. The latest figures show that cargo volumes through Dublin Port hit record levels for the fourth year in a row with growth of 4.3% to reach a new record 38.0m gross tonnes in 2018. This brings overall growth at Dublin Port in the five years since economic recovery began in 2013 to +35.7%.

To facilitate future growth, Dublin Port continues to invest in new infrastructure based on its Masterplan 2040 and a €1 billion ten-year programme of works is underway. The company invested  €93 million in port infrastructure in 2018 and plans to invest a further €147m during 2019.  Read a review of Dublin Port in 2018 on here.

Overall Growth at Dublin Port 2007 – 2018Overall Growth at Dublin Port 2007 – 2018

Looking at the 2018 trade figures in detail, imports grew by 5.5% to 22.7m gross tonnes while exports grew by 2.5% to 15.3 million gross tonnes. Containers and freight trailers account for 82% of all cargo and both the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo sectors grew strongly. Ro-Ro grew by 4.0% in 2018 to over one million Ro-Ro units for the first time (1,032,000). Lo-Lo container volumes also grew by 4.0% to 726,000 TEU.

Even though national first time registrations of new trade vehicles declined by -2.5% (as reported by the CSO), imports through Dublin Port increased by +4.1% to 103,000 during 2018 suggesting an increase in Dublin Port’s share of the market for new vehicle imports.

Bulk liquid volumes, comprising mostly petroleum products, grew strongly by 7.8% to 4.6m tonnes driven by increasing activity in the road transport and aviation sectors.

Bulk solid commodities, such as animal feeds and cereals, also increased (+16.8% to 2.4m tonnes) during the year following poor weather conditions for agriculture over the previous 12 months.

Passenger volumes declined by -1.0% to 1,828,000 due to operational issues on ferries during the year. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles declined by -1.2% to 515,000.

Dublin Port’s cruise business grew again with 150 cruise ship arrivals (compared to 127 in 2017) and growth of 32% in visitor numbers. The average size of cruise ship increased yet again reaching 50,085 gross tonnes in 2018, an increase of +10.6% compared to the previous year.

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

“Growth of 4.3% for the second year in a row is yet further confirmation 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 four years we have seen this pattern re-emerge, with 2018 the fourth year in a row for record growth.

“Dublin Port’s volumes are now 23% higher than they were in 2007 before the crash. This growth has been driven by Ro-Ro freight with more than one million Ro-Ro freight units handled in 2018 for the first time ever.

“Dublin Port’s multi-million euro infrastructure investment programme continued with capital expenditure of €93m during 2018. Our investment in infrastructure is matched by our customers’ continuing investments in new ships with huge freight capacity. Even as the €149m 2,800 lanemetre W.B. Yeats enters service in Dublin Port, we are preparing for a second new Irish Ferries’ ship with 5,610 lanemetres and also for Stena Line’s 3,100 lanemetre E-Flexer, both due to enter service on the Dublin-Holyhead route during 2020. 

“Dublin Port is the country’s most important port for Ireland’s import and export trades handling 84% of all containers and freight trailers in the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo cargo modes. In recent years we have seen huge additions to shipping capacity on services linking Ireland directly to Continental Europe to the extent that two and a half times more freight already moves on direct routes to Continental Europe than goes via the UK landbridge.

“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. Whether we are faced with a hard BREXIT or not on 29th March next will become clearer in the coming days and weeks. If we are, Dublin Port will have significant additional border inspection post capacity available for State agencies in time. Coping with the challenges of a hard BREXIT is a challenge not only for us but also for State agencies and for our customers. We will be as prepared as it is possible to be.”

Published in Dublin Port
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#lectures - As part of the Bullock 200 Bicentenary, as previously reported on, the Bullock Harbour Preservation Association and Dublin Port Company resume a series of talks held in the Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre.

Next week, on Tuesday, 22nd January at 8pm, a talk titled “The Building of Bullock Harbour” will be given by Elizabeth Shotton, Associate Professor at the UCD School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy. Admission is free though places should be booked in advance with the Heritage Centre by emailing: [email protected]

Construction of Bulloch Harbour began in the winter of 1818/1819 by the Ballast Board (now Dublin Port Company) and in relationship to up-keep and maintenance of Bulloch Harbour involves the DPC in initiatives in conjunction with the BHPA and Dalkey Tidy Towns, see related storm damage story. 

Returning to the lectures which began late last year (see below), they will continue up to May 2019 and will focus on the history and heritage of Bullock presented by excellent speakers from the Port Company and elsewhere. The lectures programme as usual will take place at 8pm in the heritage centre.

The first two lectures by Lar Joye, Port Heritage Director, and Rob Goodbody, local historian, were very well received by large audiences in the heritage centre located in Goat's Castle. The castle in Dalkey, is one of only two surviving seven fortified town houses/castles built to store cargo which were off-loaded in Dalkey during the Middle Ages, when Dalkey acted as the port for Dublin between mid-1300s to the late 1500s.

During those times, large Anglo-Norman ships could not access Dublin, as the river Liffey was silted up and navigating was notoriously difficult and dangerous leading to numerous shipwrecks. Instead vessels anchored safely in the deep waters of Dalkey Sound. When the issue of silting on the Liffey was eventually resolved, larger ships could enter Dublin which began with the expansion of the port from the late 1700's.

The Bulloch Harbour lectures have also been supported by the Dalkey Community Council, Dalkey Tidy Towns and the Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre.

Published in Dublin Bay

#ferries - On top of the roof of Dublin Port Company's headquarters, you can see lots of building work amidst all the docked ships at the River Liffey's mouth.

And while that construction is not entirely Brexit-related, management at the port, BBC News reports, says it has to be prepared for the possibility of a no-deal and any potential economic fallout.

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March, whether or not there is a negotiated deal. British Prime Minister Theresa May is hoping that her draft Withdrawal Agreement will get through the House of Commons, but preparations are under way in case it does not.

There is agreement across Irish society that Brexit will have an adverse effect on the country, but the worst scenario as far as the Irish government is concerned is that the UK leaves without a negotiated settlement. Politicians here refer to that option as a "hard" Brexit.

The International Monetary Fund forecasts that Ireland's economic growth would take a 4% hit "in the long run" if there is a "cliff-edge" break with the EU, because of the highly integrated nature of the Irish and UK economies.

And the independent Dublin-based think tank The Economic and Social Research Institute estimates that a "hard" Brexit could cost households up to €1,400 (£1,260) a year, because of a potential increase in food prices and possible trade tariffs.

Despite no-one in authority being in a position to predict how Brexit will unfold, the Irish government has already announced plans for an extra 1,000 customs and veterinary staff to work at Dublin and Rosslare ports and at airports, as well as new money to train people in sectors likely to be badly affected.

It has organised a series of very well-attended roadshows around the country with the involvement of state agencies with the theme "Getting Ireland Brexit Ready" for every Brexit scenario.

And there is evidence that more companies - worried about possible delays and resulting costs at Dover - are forsaking the UK land-bridge (incl. Holyhead) and for the new "Brexit-busting" super-ferries (see Afloat's report) that would sail directly between Dublin and Zeebrugge and Rotterdam, bypassing uncertainty in Britain.

It is too early to say what impact they are having, but the development is seen as significant.

There is an Irish political and economic consensus on Brexit.

For political reasons there is widespread agreement that there has to be a so-called "backstop" unless and until there is a wider trade agreement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

It is feared that such a border could risk a return to violence after a hard-won peace.

For much more click here

Published in Ferry

For the first time ever, Dublin Port Company has seen one million Ro-Ro freight units passing through the port within the year. The millionth freight trailer in 2018 arrived on board Irish Ferries’ Ulysses when she docked at 6.30am this morning. The truck was one of O’Toole Transport’s vehicles on board the fully booked vessel arriving from Holyhead. Every morning 13 kilometres of trucks roll off the Ro-Ro ferries arriving at Dublin Port, meeting the requirements of the retail sector and industry throughout the country.

This is the first time for Dublin Port to surpass one million Ro-Ro units in a year, and signifies continued growth in Ro-Ro freight moving through the port. Dublin Port now handles nearly 90% of Ireland’s Ro-Ro freight and the addition of the world’s largest short sea Ro-Ro ship, MV Celine, in the past year accounts for an additional 8km of freight lanes / 600 freight units alone. To date, Ro-Ro freight at Dublin Port is ahead by 4.3% compared to this time last year, and up by some 41% on boom time levels last seen in 2007.

The milestone for Dublin Port coincides with a significant week for Irish Ferries, which also sees the arrival of W.B. Yeats scheduled on Thursday, the much-anticipated new luxury ferry that will service the Dublin/Holyhead route during the Winter periods and the Dublin/Cherbourg route from mid-March to September.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said; “Today marks the one millionth Ro-Ro freight unit arriving at Dublin Port, and the milestone is significant given that Ro-Ro trailers account for more than two-thirds of the port’s overall business. It follows a period of sustained investment by Dublin Port in new infrastructure and better utilisation of lands within the port estate so that customers, such as Irish Ferries, can continue to operate to their full potential as cargo volumes rise. Our investment in port infrastructure is matched by our customers’ investment in new ships and I am delighted to see W.B. Yeats commencing operations from Dublin this week. 

Andrew Sheen, Managing Director, Irish Ferries, said; “Irish Ferries has seen strong demand from customers for all our services, especially freight, in the run up to Christmas. Everything from toys and decorations to wrapping paper and wine can be found on board our vessels at this time of year, and with Dublin Port operational 24/7 there is no slowdown as we head into the New Year.”

Published in Dublin Port
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#IrishPorts - Plans to acquire port land the Government have said at Dublin Port and Rosslare is in order to prevent congestion caused by any new custom checks, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

According to RTE News, the Government's contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit was published this evening (Wed, 19 Dec)

The document identifies 19 sectors in which action will be taken should the UK leave the European Union next March without a comprehensive agreement.

Under a chapter entitled 'Next Steps', the Government said it will prioritise "no-deal planning" at its next Cabinet meeting on 3 January.

It will also seek to introduce in the following weeks "necessary legislative measures" which would be required in a no deal scenario.

In a blunt introduction, the paper predicts "a no deal Brexit would potentially involve severe macroeconomic, trade and sectoral impacts [for Ireland]".

It continues: "Grappling with the enormous range of impacts both in the immediate short term and in the longer term will involve difficult and significant choices of a practical, strategic and political nature."

To read more including a comment from Tánaiste Simon Coveney, click here.

Published in Irish Ports

As the main gateway for trade in and out of Ireland, 2018 has been a year of exceptional progress and growth at Dublin Port on several fronts


In the first nine months of the year, cargo volumes rose by 4.7% to 28.4m gross tonnes, with imports up by 6.0% and exports up by 3.0%. Overall, port volumes grew by 4.7% in the period, and by year-end the port will have seen 36% growth in the past six years alone.

Capital Investment

The extraordinary rate of growth requires Dublin Port to accelerate its capital investment programme to deliver the capacity required for future growth. After decades of under-investment in port infrastructure, Dublin Port plans to invest Ä1 billion over the next ten years. In 2018 alone, investment reached Ä132 million, guided by the Masterplan 2040. 

Masterplan Reviewed 2018  

With record levels of throughput and growth, managing Dublin Port in accordance with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development is key. This year saw the first review of the Masterplan 2012 – 2040 published

The review has seen Dublin Port’s underlying long-term growth assumption for throughput rise from 2.5% per annum to 3.3% per annum. On this basis, throughput is expected to increase to 77m gross tonnes by 2040 compared to the 60m gross tonnes anticipated when the Masterplan was published initially.

One of the most important outcomes from the review process is a commitment not to expand by way of infill in Dublin Bay, but rather to continue catering for growth in throughput by utilising the existing footprint of the port, both on the North Quays and within the Poolbeg Peninsula together with the additional 44h of lands acquired for Dublin Inland Port. 


The past year has also been characterised by preparations for Brexit, and work has commenced on primary border control infrastructure in anticipation of the reintroduction of border controls in Dublin Port should that ultimately prove necessary. Dublin Port continues to work in close co-operation with the various State agencies to facilitate what may be required from March 2019. 

MVCelineDublinPort 395Port workers at the MV Celine, the world’s largest short sea Ro-Ro ship owned by CLdN, christened at Dublin Port

New Ships in Port

There were new “faces” on the River in 2018, with the christening of MV Celine, the world’s largest short sea Ro-Ro ship providing additional capacity for customers trading with Continental Europe via the ports of Zeebrugge and Rotterdam. Representing the next generation of super ferries servicing Dublin Port, her arrival also marked a new milestone in the port’s Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project. With a capacity of 8,000 lane-meters, 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. 

Dublin Port Signing pilot boatSigning on the dotted line for Dublin Port’s new Pilot Boat were: Michael McKenna, Harbour Master, Dublin Port Company, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, Alan Goodchild, MD, Goodchild Marine, Steve Pierce, General Manager, Goodchild Marine

With shipping companies increasingly deploying longer, deeper ships, it was announced that the leading UK boat builder Goodchild Marine Services Limited had secured the contract to construct a new Pilot Boat for Dublin Port. The new 17.1 metre ORC vessel is due for delivery to Dublin Port in July 2019 and will be a welcome addition to the fleet required to service the operational needs of the port.

The boat offers several environmental and design features such as greater fuel efficiency, capacity to cut emissions and an ability to handle high speeds in bad weather owing to its innovative beak bow design which can steady the hull as it pitches into the sea. A separate, flexibly mounted wheelhouse will help to mitigate noise and vibration, making the experience for pilots and crew more comfortable, whilst the hull form significantly reduces fuel consumption due to minimal drag. 

TallShipsRegatta2018 815Tall Ship Bellem arrives for The Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta into Dublin Port in June

Life on the River 

Celebrating life on the River Liffey has been a focal point for Dublin Port in 2018. The Tall Ships Regatta, Poolbeg Yacht Club Regatta, Clontarf Yacht Club Regatta, East Wall Water Sports Regatta, All in a Row charity event, Dublin Currach Regatta, St. Patrick’s Rowing Club Regatta, Stella Maris Rowing Club Regatta, the Hope Row, the “Three Bridges” Liffey Cruise and the Liffey Swim were among the many highlights that saw the River Liffey and Dublin Bay come to life for the sailing community, bringing together those who enjoy this spectacular amenity for recreation, sporting and spectating purposes.

lar joyeLar Joye, Port Heritage Director

New Resources 

Shining a light on the 300-year-old history of Dublin Port and those who worked there is Lar Joye, who took up the new role of Port Heritage Director during the year. Dublin Port’s archive collection covers the history of the port since 1706, and consists of a priceless collection of maps, museum collections, a vast drawings collection, and the paper archive of the Port. The process of bringing the archives into the public domain has begun, with Lar already working on the photograph collection, preparing 18,000 photographs to be digitised during the year and developing a new online resource here

Looking Back

It was also a year to remember events of the past, including the centenary of the sinking of the mailboat RMS Leinster with support for a new art exhibition at the National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Dun Laoghaire, as well as hosting a lecture series to mark the bicentenary of Bullock Harbour. 

Rinn Voyager Sailing Project 5Rinn Voyager launch (from left) Dublin Port Company Harbour Master Michael McKenna and Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring join Poolbeg Training CLG Manager Denis Murphy, Betty Ashe of Pearse Street, Tim Darmody of the Docklands and Jimmy Murray of Ringsend

Notable milestones during the year also included 25 years of the Rinn Voyager Sailing Project, which Dublin Port helped to establish in response to feedback from the local community for educational training facilities and opportunities. The Rinn Voyager Sailing Project began in 1993 when Dublin Port Company agreed to match EU funding and supply the premises, facilities and engineering expertise to help launch an initiative enabling unskilled school leavers and long-term unemployed people from Regal House, Dublin, to build the vessel. 

Launched by the then Irish President, Mary Robinson, the Rinn Voyager has been used to great success by countless local community groups and organisations for outings, rehabilitative programmes and team building exercises through the medium of sail training. 

Published in Dublin Port
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#Ferry - Irish Continental Group (ICG) revenue fell 1.3 per cent in the first 10 months of the year writes The Irish Times as a result of sailing disruptions and schedule changes, the company said on Thursday.

Group revenue dropped by €3.6 million to €285.3 million reflecting changes in the ferries division, but that was offset by growth in the container and terminal division.

Turnover in the ferries division fell 6.7 per cent to €172.1 million, €4.9 million of which is attributable to lower charter earnings after the sale of the MV Kaitaki in May 2017 and the Jonathan Swift in April 2018.

The volume of cars Irish Ferries carried decreased by 7.2 per cent to 365,400 on the back of a 7.3 per cent loss in sailings. Freight carryings dropped marginally, again linked to a loss in cruise ferry sailings.

ICG’s WB Yeats vessel, which was due earlier in the year, will be ready for delivery in early-December, the company said in a trading update.

For more on the disruption of the €144m newbuild cruiseferry, click here and Afloat's coverage on the first sea trials that took place earlier this month. 

Published in Ferry
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