2019 January 21 11:49
Dublin Port Company reported full year trading figures for 2018. The latest figures show that cargo volumes through Dublin Port hit record levels for the fourth year in a row with growth of 4.3% to reach a new record 38.0m gross tonnes in 2018. This brings overall growth at Dublin Port in the five years since economic recovery began in 2013 to +35.7%, the company said in its release.
To facilitate future growth, Dublin Port continues to invest in new infrastructure based on its Masterplan 2040 and a €1 billion ten-year programme of works is underway. The company invested €93 million in port infrastructure in 2018 and plans to invest a further €147m during 2019.
Looking at the 2018 trade figures in detail, imports grew by 5.5% to 22.7m gross tonnes while exports grew by 2.5% to 15.3 million gross tonnes. Containers and freight trailers account for 82% of all cargo and both the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo sectors grew strongly. Ro-Ro grew by 4.0% in 2018 to over one million Ro-Ro units for the first time (1,032,000). Lo-Lo container volumes also grew by 4.0% to 726,000 TEU.
Even though national first time registrations of new trade vehicles declined by -2.5% (as reported by the CSO), imports through Dublin Port increased by +4.1% to 103,000 during 2018 suggesting an increase in Dublin Port’s share of the market for new vehicle imports.
Bulk liquid volumes, comprising mostly petroleum products, grew strongly by 7.8% to 4.6m tonnes driven by increasing activity in the road transport and aviation sectors.
Bulk solid commodities, such as animal feeds and cereals, also increased (+16.8% to 2.4m tonnes) during the year following poor weather conditions for agriculture over the previous 12 months.
Passenger volumes declined by -1.0% to 1,828,000 due to operational issues on ferries during the year. Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles declined by -1.2% to 515,000.
Dublin Port’s cruise business grew again with 150 cruise ship arrivals (compared to 127 in 2017) and growth of 32% in visitor numbers. The average size of cruise ship increased yet again reaching 50,085 gross tonnes in 2018, an increase of +10.6% compared to the previous year.