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  • 2022 January 21 16:03

    Dublin Port sees a small reduction in volumes in 2021

    Dublin Port Company has reported trading figures for the fourth quarter of 2021 and for the year as a whole. Following a surge in activity in Q4 2020, before Brexit border controls were introduced on 1st January 2021, overall volumes at Dublin Port declined in Q4 2021 by -10.3% to 9.1 million gross tonnes. 

    This decline was driven by an -11.9% reduction in the number of containers and trailers year-on-year from a pre-Brexit spike of 418,000 units in Q4 2020 to 369,000 units in Q4 2021. 

    For the year as a whole, overall volumes at Dublin Port fell by -5.2% to 34.9 million gross tonnes. 83% of Dublin Port’s volumes are in the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo modes and there were contrasting outcomes in these two modes:  The number of Ro-Ro units fell by -9.3% or 99,000 trailers  This was significantly offset by an increase in Lo-Lo units of +10.2% or 43,000 containers. Overall unitised volumes (Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo combined) were down by -3.8% or 56,000 units. 

    Trade vehicle imports increased by +10.9% during 2021 to 82,000 notwithstanding space constraints causing a number of ship arrivals to be cancelled during December, the busiest month in the year for Irish vehicle imports.   

    The full year impacts of Brexit on Dublin Port’s unitised volumes (Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo) are now clear:  The overall decline in the number of containers and trailers was small at just 56,000 units (-3.8%).  Fewer goods are now moving in trailers in the Ro-Ro mode and more are moving in containers in the Lo-Lo mode. Lo-Lo’s share of unitised volumes increased from 29% to 33%. 

    Fewer Ro-Ro trailers are moving driver-accompanied. During 2021, their number declined by 90,000, contributing substantially to the overall decline in Ro-Ro volumes of 99,000.  The decline in Ro-Ro volumes was concentrated on routes to the GB ports of Holyhead, Liverpool and Heysham where volumes declined by 187,000 (-21%) to 703,000.   However, Ro-Ro volumes on direct routes to Continental Europe increased by 88,000 to 259,000. 

    As a result, where GB routes accounted for 64% of all of the 1.5 million unit loads (Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo combined) in 2020, they only accounted for 52% of the 1.4 million unit loads in 2021.

    17% of Dublin Port’s volumes are in the bulk commodity modes and these grew by +2.1% during 2021:  Bulk Liquid – primarily petroleum imports – grew by +1.7% to 3.9 million tonnes.  

    Bulk Solid volumes grew by +0.9% to 2.0 million tonnes. This includes movements of animal feed, lead and zinc ore concentrates, scrap metals and petroleum coke. 

    Overall, bulk commodities increased by +2.1% to 6.0 million tonne Although passenger numbers increased by 1.5% to 845,000 during 2021, the number travelling is still less than half of what it was pre-Covid (1.9 million in 2019).




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