Small rise in RoRo traffic at Rosslare Europort
rosslare Europort recorded a one per cent increase in RoRo volumes during 2014, according to the iShip Index, tracking Ireland's economic recovery.
Port volume nationally was up two per cent.
Commenting on the 2014 traffic figures, Liam Lacey, Director of the Irish Maritime Development Office said, 'Irish ports coped comfortably with the growth recorded in 2014. Total volumes have not yet reached the levels recorded prior to the economic downturn in 2007 and at 914 points, port traffic remains more than 12 per cent behind the high-water mark of 1,042 points recorded in 2007.'
Mr. Lacey said that 'as a result of the volume gains recorded in recent years and in anticipation of future growth, some of our major ports are now preparing to add capacity and in some cases, development plans are at an advanced stage.'
Unitised trade, which includes RoRo and LoLo traffic grew strongly, reflecting both improved export performance and increased consumption in the domestic economy. LoLo traffic grew by 9 per cent while RoRo traffic was up by 7 per cent, with total volumes exceeding 943,000 vehicles.
Total bulk traffic, which includes dry bulk, liquid bulk and break bulk cargoes fell by 2%. This volume decline is largely attributable to the reduced demand for imported fuels and animal feed, resulting from unusually mild weather conditions in 2014.
In the passenger traffic sector, Irish shipping contributed to the 9 per cent growth in annual tourist visitors by adding capacity on established routes and introducing new services in and out of the Republic of Ireland.
Irish Ferries opened a new service between Dublin and Cherbourg and also increased capacity on the Dublin - Holyhead route, with the introduction of the Epsilon. Stena Line introduced a superfast service on the Dublin - Holyhead route and has established a presence on the Rosslare-Cherbourg route through the acquisition of Celtic Link.
Overall, 4.5 million passengers travelled to and from Ireland by ferry in 2014. During 2014, 238 cruise ships made port calls to the island, bringing approximately 396,391 cruise passengers and crew to Ireland.