There was a 7 per cent increase in the total volume of traffic at Irish ports last year, with all major traffic modes delivering substantial growth, according to the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO). This was its highest level since 2008.
Bulk traffic grew by 7 per cent to reach 29.8mn tonnes, with Cork, Greenore, Shannon Foynes, Waterford and Wicklow recording above average growth rates. LoLo traffic, moving predominantly through Dublin, Cork and Waterford, grew by 8 per cent to 860,277teu, with each port recording significant volume gains.
RoRo traffic grew by 6 per cent to 1,002,920 units, 88 per cent of which was shipped through Dublin and 12 per cent through Rosslare. More than 4.4mn passengers travelled through Dublin, Rosslare and Cork in 2015 on the many ferry services between Irish ports and ports in the UK and France. A further 450,000 tourists experienced Ireland through port calls made by 246 cruise liners, an increase of 3 per cent on 2014.
Liam Lacey, director of the IMDO said: “As our ports move closer to the peak volumes handled in 2007/2008, it is important to address the need for additional capacity. “Ambitious development plans, capable of meeting the growing needs of the national economy, have been progressed by Dublin, Cork, and Shannon Foynes and will be brought to fruition over the next five years