July 25, 2017, 10:03 a.m.
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The significant increase in second-hand car imports from the UK has caused the volume of new vehicles being imported through Dublin Port to decline.
According to trade figures released from Dublin Port Company Tuesday, there were 8.7 per cent fewer new imported trade vehicles imported through Ireland’s main port in the first half of 2017.
Despite the drop, the the company recorded half-year growth of 2.9 per cent, “putting Dublin Port on track for a third successive record year”.
Export growth far outweighed import growth with the former up by 4.4 per cent. May was the busiest month for the company on record with some 3.2 million gross tonnes passing through the port.
The number of ferry passengers travelling through the port in the first six months of this year increased by 3.3 per cent, although it’s unclear where that traffic is originating from.
Tourist vehicle and cruise ship numbers also increased in the period with some 10,000 more vehicles using the port compared to the same time last year. An increase of 8 cruise ships brought the total number using the port between January and June to 50.
“The 2.9 per cent increase in trade in the first half of 2017 brings our growth in just five years to 29 per cent. At this rate, Dublin Port’s volumes would double in just 14 years,” said Eamonn O’Reilly, chief executive of Dublin Port company.
As a result of the high growth levels the company says it has begun preliminary work on its ‘MP2 Project’ to provide additional capacity for future growth.
The project will create one terminal for three of the company’s five ferry operators - Irish Ferries, P&O and Stena Line.
Dublin Port Company intends to apply for planning permission for MP2 in late 2018 with construction to commence around 2020.
“The MP2 Project will provide much needed additional capacity for Ro-Ro freight and container traffic to the UK and, increasingly, to Continental Europe,” continued Mr O’Reilly.
“The major development projects in Dublin Port are being guided by Dublin Port’s Masterplan which we are currently reviewing.
“At this stage, the review is pointing towards a third and final major Masterplan Project on the Poolbeg Peninsula.
“This will bring Dublin Port towards its ultimate capacity and able to accommodate projected future growth all the way to 2040,” he concluded.