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Cork Independent

Business & Professional

Port of Cork expects record cruise ship visits in 2019

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 5:00pm

A record 104 cruise ships are scheduled to call in 2019 which will bring over 200,000 visitors to the region.

Last year the Port of Cork saw most growth in the agri food sector, which jumped by 39 per cent. This included goods such as animal feed, fertilizers and cereals.

Overall though, traffic through both the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port Company reached 10.6 million tonnes in 2018, an increase of three per cent compared to 2017. Total imports increased by eight per cent while exports increased by five per cent.

Oil traffic handled through Whitegate Oil Refinery owned by Canadian company Irving Oil saw an increase of four per cent. Total container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy Container Terminals grew by six per cent compared to 2017 figures, with a total of 229,762 TEU’s (twenty foot equivalent unit) handled in 2018.

Brendan Keating, Chief Executive said: “2018 saw the most growth in agri food imports which rose by 39 per cent compared to last year. This increase will have a positive effect on the volumes Munster can export, underpinning Ireland as a major food-exporting nation. However, approximately three quarters of exports go to markets in the UK and the EU, with the balance going to the rest of the world. So with Brexit looming, this is an area we will be keeping a close eye on in terms of trade agreements.”

He continued: “In 2018 the Port of Cork marked a major milestone with the launch of the new €80 million Cork Container Terminal development in Ringaskiddy, so therefore we were particularly encouraged by the growth in container traffic with volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy Container Terminals up by six per cent compared to 2017. We also saw key growth in our cruise business with 95 cruise ships visiting. This was the most significant cruise season ever for the Port of Cork with over 157,000 passengers and 69,000 crews stepping ashore this summer.”

In 2019 the Port expects to see further growth in traffic. The construction of Cork Container Terminal is underway and is envisaged to be operational by 2020, thus securing the need for growth in the region.

The new RoPax ferry service from Cork to Santander operated by Brittany Ferries has reported a steady increase in the number of freight units using the route, with hauliers choosing this route to avoid the UK land bridge option.

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