Irish shipping and port activity rose by 3% in the third quarter of 2013 when compared to the corresponding period of 2012, according to the latest quarterly iShip Index and quarterly traffic review published by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).
The iShip index recorded 832 points for the third quarter (3rd Quarter 2012: 810) and increased by 6% over the first 9 months of 2013. The latest analysis also indicates that three of the five principal domestic freight segments grew in the third quarter of 2013.
The largest share of growth in the third quarter was driven by the Ro-Ro sector, growing by 8% to 224,954 freight trailers. The majority of roll-on/roll-off traffic moves between Ireland and Great Britain, Irish largest trading partner. This trade grew by 7% as trade conditions in the UK continued to improve. The increase in this sector was further helped by a stronger performance in direct continental volumes (up 14%).
Container traffic (lift on/lift off) declined by 2% to 149,423 units. The container market continued to struggle during the third quarter as sluggish demand in advanced economies constrained growth. This sector is a key distribution channel for Irish trade to Europe and to long-haul markets, including Asia and the US. Exports, as a subset of the total container volume, declined by 3% while imports declined by 1%.
Dry bulk shipments, which make up the largest volume of traffic throughput at Irish ports, was flat during the third quarter of 2013. Liquid Bulk showed a 4% increase while break bulk increased by 44% due mainly to increased demand for construction related materials such as wood, and specialised machinery, however volumes remain at historically low levels.
Commodity exports such as dairy products, waste paper and iron & steel grew in the third quarter while imports of road vehicles, wood and beverages also increased.
imdo, May 26, 2014