Booming Dublin Port on track for record year
DUBLIN Port is in line to have a record year with business up more than 8pc in the first six months of 2014.
Chief executive Eamonn O'Reilly said that with a "fair wind" the company could exceed the previous record of 2007 when 30.9 million tonnes of goods went through the country's largest port.
Much of the growth in traffic was driven by an 8.8pc hike in unitised goods to 12,500 tonnes. This mostly comprises goods for the construction and retail sectors. In addition, fuel imports are up 1.4pc, suggesting more cars are on the road, while bulk solids - primarily animal feeds - are also up more than 12pc to 1,067 tonnes.
"Dublin is always bigger on imports than exports, and it's a sign of the domestic economy recovering," Mr O'Reilly said.
"The imports side is what has held our volume growth back since 2007. Since April 2013, we have seen relentless growth, and relentless is not a word I use lightly.
"We'd be optimistic for the second half of the year. I don't know if we can go at the same pace but quarter two was strong this year and last.
"That leads me to believe it's not going to be anything other than a strong year. With a fair wind, we could have a record year."
The throughput statistics for the first six months also show that 729,015 passengers, up 5.4pc year-on-year, and 190,619 vehicles (up 6.4pc) passed through Dublin, most of which is tourist traffic.
There has been a drop in cruise liners, down to 31 from 34, but the number of passengers on board has risen to 34,687, up 11pc.
"The number of ships is down but the number of people is rising and the ships are getting bigger," he added.
There has also been a sharp rise in the number of cars being imported, up 24pc to 43,597.