PICTURED LEFT: Michael Walsh, Chairperson of Port of Cork; Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath; Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber; and Eoin McGettigan, CEO of Port of Cork after the Port of Cork Company was awarded the 2022 Ambassador’s Award by the Irish American Business Chamber & Network.

Award honours ship-shape port

The Port of Cork has made history after receiving a prestigious award for its contribution to Irish-American trade.

The company received the 2022 Ambassador’s Award by the Irish American Business Chamber & Network which was celebrated at events attended by dignitaries on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Ambassador’s Award is an honour presented to a company, either in the US or Ireland, that plays a pivotal role to strengthen the economic and educational ties between the two countries.

For the first time in its history, it has been awarded to three entities: the Port of Cork Company, Independent Container Line (ICL) and Penn Terminals for their collaboration to launch and maintain the Cork to Chester shipping route.

Serving Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the route to America’s east coast was launched in May 2020 and is the only direct route from Ireland to the US. It provides Irish exporters with unprecedented opportunities, particularly for smaller indigenous companies, to develop business in the US.

In 2021, approximately 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (teu) of cargo was carried across the Atlantic from Cork with Irish exports such as medicine, lab tech, agricultural supplies, steel, nutrients, and infant formula. The weekly sailing has proven so successful that it is now serviced with bigger ships to cater for the demand.

Accepting the award, Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer of Port of Cork Company, said: “We are very proud to receive this award. Prior to the start of this shipping service, the last time liners regularly travelled between Cork and America was to enable migration.

“We hope that the opening of our new Cork container terminal in the coming months, following an €86 million investment, will allow for further expansion of services and increased cargo volumes to the US.”

Due to the unique nature of this year’s nomination, the award was presented to Port of Cork Company at a dual event held at a luncheon in Philadelphia with a live video link back to a dinner that took place simultaneously in Cork Chamber and was attended by Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath among others.

Commenting on the award, Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber said: “In the context of Brexit and the ever-changing challenges to international trade, supply chain stability and movement of goods, the Port of Cork has excelled in building strong new trade links with the US. This timely recognition is an appropriate milestone as this relationship continues to build.”

The Port of Cork Company now joins the ranks of fellow winners and household names such as ICT, Wyeth, Siemens, ARAMARK, Shire Pharmaceuticals, SAP, Teleflex and Aer Lingus.