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  • 2021 October 27 15:40

    Dublin Port volumes down by 3.3% after nine months of 2021

    Brexit impacts on Dublin Port clear to be seen after nine months, GB unitised trade down -21%, direct trade with Europe up +36%.

    Total port volumes down -3.3% in first nine months, but core Dublin Port business steady with -0.5% change in trailer and container volumes.
     
    Dublin Port has today reported trading figures for the nine months to the end of September 2021.

    Overall port throughput declined over the period from January to September 2021 by
    -3.3% to 25.9 million gross tonnes compared to the same period in 2020. Imports from January to September increased by +0.4% to 15.7 million gross tonnes but exports declined by -8.4% to 10.2 million gross tonnes.
    The outturn after nine months comes after a volatile first three quarters:
     Weak first quarter v Q1 2020: – 15.2% to 7.8 million gross tonnes
     Strong second quarter v Q2 2020: + 13.1% to 9.0 million gross tonnes
     Decline in the third quarter v Q3 2020: – 5.4% to 9.1 million gross tonnes
     
    Notwithstanding the decline of -3.3% in overall gross tonnes, the number of containers and trailers in the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo modes – the largest part of Dublin Port’s business – declined by just -0.5% to 1,060,445 units but with very different trends between the two modes:
     Ro-Ro volumes declined by -6.6% to 707,212 units
     Lo-Lo volumes increased by +14.4% to 353,233 units (equivalent to 637,514 TEU)

    Behind the different trends in Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo, there has also been a large and consistent change in the geographical mix of Dublin Port’s trade since the introduction of Brexit border controls in January 2021.

    Whereas overall unitised volumes were down by just -0.5%, volumes on routes to Great Britain declined by -21.2% to 537,680 in the nine months (primarily Holyhead, Liverpool and Heysham).

    On the other hand, volumes on routes to Continental Europe increased by +36.3% to 522,765 units (mainly Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Antwerp and Cherbourg).

    As a result, unitised volumes on routes to Great Britain now account for just over one half (51%) of all unitised trade where, before Brexit, they accounted for approaching two-thirds (64%).

    Allied to this, the proportion of Ro-Ro units which are driver accompanied (181,605 after nine months) has fallen from 32% to 26%.

    As a sign of increased economic activity, new vehicle imports in the nine months from January to September increased by +19.0% to 63,000.

    By comparison with the volume decline in the unitised modes of Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo, volumes in the non-unitised modes were ahead after nine months by +3.7% to 4.4 million tonnes:

     Bulk Liquid imports (mostly petroleum products) increased by +1.3% to 2,868,000 tonnes
     Imports and exports of Bulk Solid commodities increased by +6.0% to 1,453,000 tonnes

    Notwithstanding growth in passenger and tourist volumes on ferries over the third quarter from July to September, passenger numbers (including HGV drivers) after nine months are behind last year by -12.7% to 568,000 and tourist vehicles are down -1.8% to 167,000.


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