Data shows ports rely heavily on UK trade

Pádraig Hoare

Goods passing through Irish ports increased more than 5% last year, with Britain and the North by far the most valuable trading partner, figures have shown.

The reliance of ports in the Republic on the North and mainland Britain give credence to calls from business leaders to insulate the marine industry from the effects of Brexit.

Aerial view of Port of Cork.

CSO figures show routes between Dublin and Holyhead, Liverpool and Milford Haven in Britain were the busiest routes for inward movement of goods in 2017, while Dublin-Holyhead and Dublin-Liverpool routes were also the busiest routes in terms of goods forwarded.

Irish ports handled more than 53 million tonnes of goods in 2017, an increase of 5.2% when compared with 2016.

Goods forwarded from Irish ports amounted to almost 18 million tonnes in 2017, while a total of 35.5 million tonnes of goods were received in 2017, both increasing by 5.2% when compared with the previous year, the CSO said.

Calls for additional funding for Irish ports in a post-Brexit EU have gained momentum in recent months.

Port of Cork chairman John Mullins told the Oireachtas transport committee in February that Brexit was “now a real issue” for Irish imports and exports.

If there is a hard Brexit and it leads to major queues in Holyhead or in Fishguard, this will create an enormous issue for the supply chain, he said.

Chief executive Brendan Keating warned earlier this year that the country is at significant risk of isolation following Brexit and will need EU funding to shore up lack of connectivity to major European routes.

More on this topic

EU and US will 'do right by Ireland' post Brexit, Taoiseach claims

Brexit Omnibus Bill: What happens if UK crash out with no deal?

Kingspan eyeing €600m acquisition spree

Ireland’s Brexit plans show border warnings are careless rhetoric, DUP claim


More in this Section

UK's Serious Fraud Office closes probes into Rolls-Royce and GlaxoSmithKline

MyTaxi app to change name for second time two years

UCC student launches Executive Summit, top execs get on board

Here are this week's six business movers


Lifestyle

Live music review: Chvrches play a blinder at the Olympia

7 ways to manage toddler tantrums, according to an expert

The unlikely leading man: Viggo Mortensen earned his Oscar nomination by being everything a movie star isn’t

Ask Audrey: 'I'm pretending to be from Monkstown, but I'm really just a wan from Turners Cross'

More From The Irish Examiner