Ireland’s maritime industry grew strongly in 2015, says the Irish Maritime Transport Economist (IMTE), an annual publication issued by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).
The iShip Index, which measures the total volume of traffic moving through our national ports, recorded a 7% increase, with all major traffic modes delivering substantial growth.
Bulk traffic grew by 7% to reach 29.8 million tonnes, with Cork, Greenore, Shannon Foynes, Waterford and Wicklow recording above average growth rates. LoLo traffic, moving predominantly through Dublin, Cork and Waterford, grew by 8% to 860,277 TEU, with each port recording significant volume gains.
RoRo traffic grew by 6% to 1,002,920 units, 88% of which was shipped through Dublin and 12% through Rosslare.
The total volume of traffic that moved through Irish ports in 2015 reached its highest level since 2008, at 977 points on the iShip Index.
Although this is 7% lower than the peak of 1,042 points achieved in 2007, it represents substantial progress from the low of 693 points recorded in 2009, and is the highest level recorded since the beginning of the economic crisis.
Commenting on the strong performance of the industry in 2015, Liam Lacey, Director of the IMDO said “the economic contribution made by our ports to the broader economy is recognised in the Government’s integrated plan for the marine industry – Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth."
Liam added: "The plan describes ports as enablers of economic growth. Their competitiveness and efficiency impact directly on international trade and have a direct influence on the job creation capacity of the economy.”
The iShip Index is a quarterly weighted indicator that gauges the health of the Irish shipping industry. The index is comprised of five separate indices, representing the main maritime traffic categories moving through ports in the Republic of Ireland: LoLo, RoRo, Dry Bulk, Liquid Bulk and Break Bulk.
As all three bulk segments are traditionally measured in tonnes, LoLo and RoRo traffic are converted into tonnage terms, whereby 1 TEU = 10 tonnes and 1 Freight Unit = 14 tonnes. The base period is Q1 2007 at which point, all indices are set to 1000.