Dublin Port and Port of Cork have released new performance data.
Dublin Port Statement
In a statement published on dublinport.ie, Dublin Port Company said, "Dublin Port Company has today reported trading figures for the second quarter of 2021 and for the first half of the year.
"Following a weak first quarter, (when volumes declined by -15.2% in the first three months after Brexit), there was a +13.1% increase to 9.0 million gross tonnes in Dublin Port’s volumes for the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. After six months, volumes are now only -2.1% behind last year.
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"Imports from April to June increased strongly by +20.3% to 5.4 million gross tonnes while exports grew by 3.7% to 3.5 million gross tonnes.
"Unitised trade (Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo) accounted for 84% of all cargo volumes in the quarter and the number of trailers and containers combined increased by +16.5% to 374,000 units. Within this, Ro-Ro increased by +12.4% to 253,000 units while Lo-Lo grew by 26.2% to 121,000 units (equivalent to 220,000 TEU).
"The strong growth in the second quarter brings Dublin Port’s unitised volumes (Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo) to 692,000 units for the first half of the year, +1.6% ahead of 2020.
"As a sign of increased economic activity, new vehicle imports in the second quarter more than doubled to 22,000 units and Bulk Liquid imports (mostly petroleum products) increased by +34.4% to 969,000 tonnes.
"Imports and exports of Bulk Solid commodities grew by +22.3% to 474,000 tonnes in the three months from April to June.
"Passenger and tourist volumes on ferries also showed signs of growth with passenger numbers (including HGV drivers) ahead by +41.0% to 125,000 and tourist vehicles up by +26.0% to 30,000 in the quarter.
"Although volumes recovered strongly during the second quarter of 2021, cargo throughput in the first half of the year is still behind where it was before Brexit and pre-pandemic.
"While volumes after six months are down by just -2.1% compared to 2020, they are -12.7% lower compared to the record levels of 2019. Within the overall volume figures, unitised trade is still -7.4% lower than it was two years ago.
"Commenting on the Q2 2021 figures, Dublin Port's chief executive, Eamonn O'Reilly, said, 'As each month goes by, the negative impact of the exceptionally weak start to the year post Brexit is being reduced. In the circumstances, a decline of just -2.1% after six months is not too bad a performance. However, we remain nearly -13% behind where we were in the record year of 2019.
"'The effects of Brexit on the pattern of trade through Dublin Port are now becoming clearer with very strong growth of 40% on Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo services to continental European ports compared to a decline of -19% on services with ports in Great Britain. As a result, our unitised volumes are now split 50/50 between GB ports and ports in continental Europe. Before Brexit, GB ports accounted for almost two-thirds.
"'Border inspections on imports from GB are operating very efficiently with no queuing or significant delays. On average only three trailers are being called for some form of physical inspection on each ferry that arrives. While volumes on services from Holyhead are some way behind where they were last year, there are clear signs that the landbridge is being re-established and we anticipate the steady recovery we are seeing in GB Ro-Ro volumes to continue.
"'With much higher growth on direct services to continental Europe, the proportion of unitised loads which are driver accompanied has dropped from 23% to just 17% in the first half of the year. This effect - taken together with the loss of 14.6 hectares (20 football pitches) for border inspection facilities - is putting increased pressure on port capacity, particularly in the western end of the port where works are continuing to complete Ireland’s largest Ro-Ro freight terminal. This is due to come into operation in the first half of next year.
"'With long-term growth trends beginning to re-emerge, we anticipate a return to record levels of throughput by 2023. The long-term planning to provide additional port capacity for future growth never stops and we have recently commenced pre-application consultation with An Bord Pleanála for the 3FM Project, the third and final Masterplan project required to bring Dublin Port to its ultimate capacity by 2040. We aim to lodge a planning application for this project in 2023.
Port Of Cork Statement
Meanwhile, in a statement published on portofcork.ie, the Port of Cork Company said, "The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) has reported that its financial performance for 2020, albeit lower than that of 2019, was ahead of the expectations set earlier in the year against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ports of Cork Company including Bantry Bay Port Company reported a total consolidated traffic throughput of 10.5 million tonnes in 2020 compared to 10.1 million in 2019.
"These strong traffic volumes were due in part to the commencement of two new shipping services from Ringaskiddy, Cork in 2020, and an 81% increase to 1.3 million metric tonnes (2019: 0.73 million metric tonnes) at Bantry Bay Port Oil storage at the Zenith Energy Whiddy Island Storage facility, while Bantry Bay Port Oil Storage increased throughput at Whitegate Oil Refinery decreased slightly.
"While traditional LOLO container volumes trended lower, the overall volumes of containers handled by the port increased by 4% to a record 250,209 TEU (2019: 240,186 TEU’s). This growth which trended toward new shipping modes in response to Brexit and the commencement of a direct Con-Ro service from Ringaskiddy to the Belgian Port of Zeebrugge. The Port also reported that Dry bulk cargo, primarily Agri Products (animal feed, cereals & fertilizers), increased by 2.5% to 1.42 million tonnes (2019: 1.39 million tonnes) which was welcomed.
"Port of Cork Company consolidated turnover for the year 2020 amounted to €33.7 million (2019: €37.7m), a decrease of 10.47% or €4m, the profit after taxation for the financial year amounted to €4.7m (2019: €6m).
"Conor Mowlds, chief commercial officer, Port of Cork, said, 'In this year of Brexit, the port's trade in 2020 reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the areas most impacted being Cruise traffic and the reduced passenger ferry sailings. However, Container traffic, bulk trade, Whitegate Oil Refinery and Whiddy Oil Storage facility all continued to trade successfully in 2020, which was ahead of our expectations. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the port was designated an essential service and thanks to the work of our entire team we were able to keep imports and exports moving, without any delays in our operations.'
"He continued, 'The COVID-19 pandemic ensured that 2020 was a challenging year for the company, both financially and from an operational perspective. The Port of Cork Company turnover for 2020 was €33.7 million (2019: €37.7m), a decrease of €4m. The impact on the tourist industry worldwide was particularly stark, and in our case, it resulted in the loss of 98 cruise liner calls, a primary factor in our reduced turnover. In addition, Brittany Ferries Ro-Pax services were severely impacted due to COVID-19 passenger travel restrictions.'
"While the immediate future remains challenging as Ireland slowly emerges from the pandemic, new routes established last year such as CLdN weekly Con-Ro Service direct to Zeebrugge and the unique ICL weekly direct transatlantic service to the US (east coast), add to the port's capacity to carry export goods estimated to value in the region of €20 billion, and imports to the value of €10 billion, underpinning the importance of the port’s contribution to the national recovery.
"The Port of Cork Company is looking forward to the awaited completion of its newly developed Cork Container Terminal in Ringaskiddy, the continued growth of its presence in the Con-Ro space with the introduction of Grimaldi service to Belgium, and remain optimistic about the return of cruise to Cork sometime in 2022."
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