Irish shipping and port activity rose by 2% in the second quarter of 2014 when compared to the corresponding period of 2013, according to the latest quarterly iShip Index published today by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO). The latest analysis also indicates that four of the five principal freight segments grew in the second quarter of 2014.
Growth in Irish Shipping and Port Activity
The Roll on/roll off freight segment experienced volume growth of 7% in the second quarter to 244,629 units and is the sixth consecutive quarterly increase in freight trailers.
The majority of Roll on/roll off traffic moves between Ireland and Great Britain and this freight segment is a simple but reliable indicator of the level of trade between both economies.
Container traffic (lift on/lift off) grew by 5% to 154,725 units. Encouragingly container imports have now risen for three consecutive quarters; Q4 2013 +3%, Q1 2014 +6% and Q2 2014 +7%. Container exports continued to growth increasing by 2%. Container operators have noticed a significant increase in deep sea traffic from Asia since the beginning of the year which bodes well for domestic consumption in the coming quarter.
The overall bulk traffic segment saw tonnage volumes decline by 8% when compared to the previous year. Break bulk, which largely consists of imports of construction and project related commodities, increased by 34%. Break bulk has now seen four consecutive quarterly increases.
“The increased volume through Irish Ports in the first half of the year are a function of national economic recovery. Volumes are up in all areas, with the exception of liquid bulk and that is because of the anomalies of the transhipment cargo that moves through Bantry,” IMDO said.
With respect to congestion issues faced by European ports, IMDO told World Maritime News that Irish ports have not experienced congestion for many years.
“Volumes are still way below pre-recession highs, as indicated by the iShip Index, and are not expected to return to that level until 2018 at the earliest.”
Press Release, August 19, 2014