Record year for trade expected at Dublin Port

Total throughput figures (consisting of imports and exports) are close to 2007 levels

Dublin Port is predicting a record year for trade on the back of a sharp rise in throughput levels and ferry passenger numbers.

New figures show that total throughput (consisting of imports and exports) at the country’s largest and busiest port rose 5.7 per cent to 7.8 million tonnes in the third quarter.

Total throughput for the year-to-date was 23.1 million tonnes, up 7.3 per cent on the same nine month period a year earlier. This compares with throughput levels of 23.6 million tonnes by the end of the third quarter in 2007, during the height of Ireland’s economic activity.

Over 635,000 ferry passengers passed through the port between July and September 2014, up 5.5 per cent compared to the same quarter a year earlier. This brings the total numbers so far this year to 1,367,724.


According to the data, exports through Dublin Port grew by 6.1 per cent to 3.1 million tonnes in the third quarter. Imports reached over 4.6 million tonnes, up 5.5 per cent.

High levels of growth were recorded for trade vehicles, consisting mostly of new cars destined for dealerships around the country. Dublin Port said there were 14,802 new trade vehicles in the third quarter, up 48.8 per cent on the same three-month period last year. This brings the total number of trade vehicles so far this year to 58,399, up 29.8 per cent on the 44,987 that arrived in the first nine months of 2013.

There was also strong growth recorded in Dublin Port’s Lo-Lo (Lift-on Lift-off) sector, which predominantly comprises consumer goods. In the third quarter, Lo-Lo twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) amounted to 145,374 TEU, bringing the total number of Lo-Lo units so far this year to 418,867 TEU, a 9.4 per centincrease compared to the same period last year.

The Ro-Ro (Roll-on Roll-off) sector also achieved impressive results with 210,365 units recorded, up 7 per cent on the third quarter of 2013. This brought the total for the first nine months to 609,775 units, a 7.9 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

The latest figures come in the same week that details of a new €200million plan to redevelop a large section of Dublin Port and deepen the navigation channel to allow for bigger container and cruise ships were outlined at a planning hearing .

“The figures for the third quarter show continued growth in trade levels at Dublin Port, with increases across the main areas of our business including import, export, trade vehicle and ferry passenger numbers. With 7.3 per cent growth in total throughput for the year so far, Dublin Port is now on course to exceed the record trading figures recorded in 2007,” said Eamonn O’Reilly, chief executive of Dublin Port Company.


Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist