Irish ports have been handling fewer goods each quarter since the beginning of 2011 — the last time there was an increase in shipping volumes.
The most recent figures from the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) that the volume of port and shipping traffic through the Republic of Ireland continued to decline in the second quarter of 2012.
The Director of the IMDO, Glenn Murphy said the trend has been negative but until recently exports had been holding their own.
“The trend has been negative over the last four quarters. Exports had been up, but now in the last quarter we have seen the first year-on-year export decline.”
The data showed that only one of the five principal freight segments had any growth over the second quarter while all other freight segments declined compared to the same period last year.
The liquid bulk volumes of tanker based petroleum products were the only sector to record an increase. They jumped by 28%.
This increase was largely as a result of large volumes of crude oil being trans-shipped at Bantry Harbours oil storage facilities. Excluding Bantry, volumes would have seen a decline of 8% in Quarter 2, which more accurately reflects domestic demand for petroleum products.
Container traffic (lo/lo) declined by 5% during the second quarter of the year. Containers are used for the import and export of finished household goods. This traffic has been in decline since 2008, for 18 consecutive quarters volumes of import have fallen due to weak consumer demand.
Exports, a subset of these figures fell by 5% in the second quarter, as weaker demand conditions prevailed in major global markets. This was the first quarterly fall for exports since the beginning of 2010.
Roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) traffic declined in the Republic of Ireland by 4% in Quarter 2.
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