Dublin Port announces new Dwell Time Initiative to increase port capacity post-Brexit
Dublin Port Company (DPC) has announced an initiative to decrease the dwell time of containers and trailers at Dublin Port so as to increase the Port’s throughput capacity for future growth.
Phase 1 of the Dublin Port Dwell Time Initiative will see DPC reduce the free time period allowed for containers and trailers (from seven days to four days) at one of the three container terminals in Dublin Port which handles trade with Continental Europe. DPC will also double the daily quay charges applied after this free period (from €20 per day to €40 per day for a 40’ container).
The changes come into effect on 1st June 2019 and will apply to container and trailer traffic using the terminal operated by Doyle Shipping Group (DSG). The terminal is owned and controlled by Dublin Port Company.
Dwell Time refers to the amount of time an import container or trailer spends waiting to be picked up at a terminal after being unloaded from a ship (or the time an export container or trailer spends in a terminal before being loaded onto a ship). After the allowed free period, daily quay charges are applied until the container or trailer leaves the terminal.
DPC is introducing the measure in order to maximise the use of land at the terminal. Shorter dwell times will lead to fewer containers being stored for longer than necessary, thereby freeing up space for more cargo to move through the same amount of land. This increases port capacity.
The initiative comes as new trade figures for Q1 2019 reveal that Dublin Port experienced its busiest single month on record with throughput of 3.4m gross tonnes in March, with overall cargo volumes for the first quarter up by 7.0%. The first quarter growth to 9.7 million gross tonnes came from both rising imports (+8.0%) and increasing exports (+5.6%).
The terminal operated by DSG accounts for 45% of containers and trailers moving between Dublin and ports in Continental Europe and beyond. DPC is already seeing accelerating growth on direct routes to Continental Europe in advance of Brexit.
The need to maximise the use of land at Dublin Port is more pressing following the loss of eight hectares of port lands to State Agencies for secondary inspection facilities required after Brexit. Although eight hectares equates to only 3% of the overall land area at Dublin Port it represents 25% of the port lands available for development for the transit storage of freight in containers and trailers under Masterplan 2040.
Further phases of the Dublin Port Dwell Time Initiative will be implemented in 2020 and 2021 with the objective of achieving an average dwell time of 2.0 days in container terminals in Dublin within three years. Later phases of the Dublin Port Dwell Time Initiative will reduce the dwell time of unaccompanied trailers on high frequency services to and from the UK. DPC’s target is to achieve an average dwell times of 16 hours, also before end 2021. This will require many trailers to be removed from the port to inland locations, particularly during off peak hours.