Overall traffic through Irish ports increased by 2% in 2016, predominantly by unitised trade – roll-on/roll-off and lift-on/lift-off by 7% – according to the Irish Maritime Transport Economistproduced by the Irish Maritime Development Office. 

Dublin Port

Dublin Port: 14.2m GT exports in 2016

The report also highlights an 11% increase in the number of cruise vessel calls to Irish ports (274); however passenger numbers between the island of Ireland, UK and continental Europe declined by 2.6% to 4.3 million over the same period.

“As a maritime nation and an [island] economy, we are heavily dependent on seaborne transport to link Ireland to world markets,” remarked Liam Lacey, IMDO director.

He also noted that while 2016 was a challenging year for business, overall increase in port traffic and strong growth in unitised trade “demonstrates the resilience of Ireland’s maritime industry” in continuing to meet the needs of Ireland’s growing economy. 

While the impact of Brexit on the trading environment was not immediately apparent in bilateral trade volumes recorded between Ireland and the UK during the second half of 2016, “our maritime industry is influenced by factors such as exchange rate fluctuations that will continue to evolve in 2017,” he said. 

Key figures

• 2% increase in total port traffic recorded in 2016

• 7% increase in RoRo traffic to 1,073,403 freight units

• 7% increase in LoLo traffic to 916,852 TEUs*

• 5% decline in total bulk traffic, driven by reduced demand for oil, coal and other bulk commodities

• Overall passenger traffic declined 2.6% in 2016, but 11% increase in cruise vessel calls recorded