Total traffic through the Port of Cork reached 9.2 million tonnes in 2016, a slight decrease compared to 2015 traffic.
Import figures remain steady while exports were reduced primarily due to the closure of Lisheen Mines in Co. Tipperary and the subsequent cessation of exporting lead and zinc through the Port of Cork in 2016.
Total container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy Container Terminals grew by 2% compared to 2015 figures, with over 209,000 TEU’s handled.
The growth in container handling at the Port of Cork is very encouraging particularly as the Port moves to redevelop Ringaskiddy Port as their main container terminal. In 2016 the largest container vessel to visit an Irish Port called to Ringaskiddy on route from Central America. This weekly service not only ensures the Irish grocery market is fully supplied with fresh fruit, but positions Cork as deep sea port capable of handling panamax size container vessels.
Speaking about the 2016 trade traffic figures the Port of Cork Chairman Mr. John Mullins said: ‘The trade results for the Port of Cork in 2016 are overall very encouraging despite some decreases in certain trades. We are very pleased with the results as achieving traffic figures which are in line with pre-recessionary time highlights the positivity returning to the market and I am confident that the port can sustain this growth across 2017. In particular container traffic through Tivoli and Ringaskiddy increased by 2% with imports fractionally higher than exports. There was impressive growth in the imports of trade cars with over 46,000 vehicles imported.’
In 2015 An Bord Pleanala granted a 10-year planning permission to Port of Cork for the redevelopment of the existing port facilities at Ringaskiddy. In July 2016 the Port of Cork submitted to the Board a request to alter the terms of the permission granted to enhance the long-term sustainability of the port. The €80 million port redevelopment will future proof the facility and Port of Cork look forward to the project progressing in 2017.
More in the next print issue of Export & Freight