Dublin Port shows strong growth figures in the first nine months of 2014 – Donohoe

9th October, 2014

Imports and exports up 7.3%, ferry passengers rise 5.5%

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe today (Thursday) welcomed Dublin Port Company’s strong throughput statistics which were published for the third quarter of 2014. The figures for this period show a 7.3% increase in export and import trade, as well as a 5.5% rise in ferry passenger numbers moving through Ireland’s largest and busiest port.

Speaking today Minister Donohoe said: ‘Dublin Port has an important role to play at the heart of the national and local economy, facilitating the effective movement of goods to and from the island. Today’s trading figures show the resilience of the Irish economy and I commend Dublin Port Company on its strong trading performance in the third quarter and year to date. As a barometer of economic growth, the figures point to a very promising year for 2014 with strong increases in both throughput and ferry passenger numbers already evident. This is very welcome news indeed.’


Summary of Q3 Trade Statistics


2014 Q3

2013 Q3

% Var

2014 YTD

2013 YTD

% Var

Throughput (‘000 gross tonnes)







Imports (‘000 gross tonnes)







Exports (‘000 gross tonnes)







Ro-Ro (freight units)







Lo-Lo (TEUS)







Ferry Passengers







Tourist Vehicles







Trade Vehicles







Trade levels continue to increase at Dublin Port, with total throughput (imports and exports) for Q3 up 5.7% to 7.8 million tonnes. Total throughput for the year to date was 23.1 million tonnes, representing a 7.3% increase on the same nine month period last year. To put this figure in context, throughput levels at Dublin Port had reached 23.6 million tonnes by Q3 2007 during the height of Ireland’s economic activity. With growth in trade set to continue in the coming quarter, 2014 is expected to be a record year for trade at Dublin Port.  Imports for Q3 in 2014 reached over 4.6 million tonnes, while exports amounted to 3.1 million tonnes, representing an increase of 5.5% and 6.1% respectively on the same period last year.

High levels of growth were recorded for trade vehicles, mostly new cars destined for dealerships around the country. There were 14,802 new trade vehicles in Q3, up 48.8% on the same quarter last year. This brings the total number of trade vehicles so far this year to 58,399, up 29.8% on the 44,987 that arrived in the first nine months of 2013. The figures underscore the 23% growth in car sales in Ireland published for the first half of the year, which represents more than the total number of sales for all of 2013*.

There was particularly strong growth in Dublin Port’s Lo-Lo (Lift-on Lift-off) sector, which predominantly comprises consumer goods. In Q3, Lo-Lo twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) amounted to 145,374 TEU, bringing the total number of Lo-Lo units so far this year to 418,867 TEU, a 9.4% increase compared to the same period last year. The Ro-Ro (Roll-on Roll-off) sector also achieved strong results with 210,365 units recorded in Q3, up 7.0% on Q3 2013. This brought the total for the first nine months to 609,775 units, a 7.9% increase compared to the same period last year, underpinning Dublin Port as the island’s port of choice for Ro-Ro.(Roll On  – Roll Off)

Over 635,000 ferry passengers passed through the port between July and September 2014. This brings the total numbers so far this year to 1,367,724, 5.5% increase compared to the same period last year.


Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “The figures for the third quarter show continued growth in trade levels at Dublin Port, with increases across the main areas of our business including import, export, trade vehicle and ferry passenger numbers. With 7.3% growth in total throughput for the year so far, Dublin Port is now on course to exceed the record trading figures recorded in 2007. The sustained increases in trade at Dublin Port in the third quarter demonstrate our appeal as the port of choice for importers and exporters, who benefit from direct and efficient access to the Dublin and surrounding markets. We are committed to investing in facilities and seeking operational efficiencies so that Dublin Port can continue to facilitate Ireland’s trading needs effectively and sustainably, now and in the future.”


Jim Power, economist, said: “The latest data from Dublin Port shows continuing strong growth across most modes. This is totally consistent with everything we know about the economy this year. Ireland’s economic recovery is being driven by merchandise exports and investment and this is reflected in the latest trade statistics from Dublin Port. Growth of 5.7% in gross tonnage through the Port in the third quarter and 7.3% year to date shows the extent to which Dublin Port is facilitating the strong recovery that is happening in the economy.  The third quarter data also shows Dublin Port is on track to recovering all of the volumes lost after the economic collapse post 2007.”