103 cruise ships buoy trading at Dublin Port
Trade volumes at Dublin port are set to hit record highs this year, according to the Dublin Port Company.
Newly-released figures show there was an increase of 6.8pc in the amount of goods passing through the port in the first nine months of this year.
Imports grew by a total of 6.7pc between January and September, while exports were up by 7pc.
There were 10.6 million tonnes exported from Ireland during the period, with more than 15 million tonnes imported.
In addition, there were in excess of 77,000 cars imported, which was a rise of 9.8pc on the same period for 2015. Over 400,000 tourist vehicles also used the port in the first three quarters.
The figures also revealed there were 103 cruise visits to Dublin, bringing in a total of 152,000 travellers to Irish shores.
In roll on/roll off cargo, almost 700,000 units arrived in the country - an increase of 7.6pc, while lift on/lift off cargo rose by 9pc to 495,304.
"The pace of growth is so strong that if current growth levels were to continue into the future, Dublin Port's volumes would double over the 12 years to 2025," said Dublin Port ceo Eamonn O'Reilly.
"Our challenge now is how best to create additional port capacity in sufficient time to stay ahead of this growth.
"As part of our plans to maximise capacity at Dublin Port, we have purchased 44 hectares of motorway-connected lands 14 km from the port and we will develop these as an External Port Logistics Zone over the next five years to increase the capacity of the port to cater for future growth."
The rate of growth will come as a relief to policymakers who are attempting to formulate a plan for Ireland's trade sector which is already being hit by the effects of Brexit.
Exports to the UK were almost €10bn in the first three quarters, accounting for around 17pc of the total.