Issue 7 2020 - FBJ Ireland

Dublin port on the growth track again

Dublin Port Company reported an increase in overall tonnage of 1.2% for the third quarter of 2020, but for the first nine months of the year volume was down by 6.9% compared to the same period last year. Having seen a decline of

4.8% in the first quarter of 2020 (attributed to traffic returning to normal aſter Brexit stockpiling in the first quarter of 2019), there was a further and steeper 17% decline in the second quarter of 2020 due to Covid. But since then, monthly trade volumes have been comparatively strong, culminating in export-led growth

384,000 units during the third quarter, with ro ro up 4.1% to 276,000 units and lo lo by 0.2% to 192,000teu. Imports of new trade vehicles

through Dublin Port decreased marginally by -0.6% to 12,400 units. For the nine months to September, 53,000 new trade vehicles have been imported through Dublin Port, a decline of -29.3% compared to last year. Bulk liquid volumes, primarily

petroleum products, declined by -20.4% and bulk solid commodities (including animal feed, ore concentrates from Tara Mines, bulk cement products


V-shaped recovery for Harbour International

Ireland specialist Harbour International Freight has seen a dramatic pick up in volumes throughout the summer and in particular in September. In

fact, says UK general

manager, Steve Swinburn: “We had not been hit too hard, unlike some, as we have a very broad customer base covering fast- moving consumer goods through to chemicals and manufacturing so with that range we have weathered the storm quite well. April was the hardest-hit month with volumes decreasing around 30%.”

Harbour International provides

daily departures from its UK depots to its own depots in Dublin, Cork and Belfast covering the full range of next day and standard services from a carton to a full load and everything between, along with full ADR (dangerous goods) services. Over the past eight years it has

of 1.2% in the third quarter from July to September. Exports for the three months grew by 6.6%, more than offsetting the -2.4% decline in imports. Unitised trade (trailers and containers) grew by 3.1% to

and scrap metals) grew by 56.0%. Ferry


passenger truck

Port of Waterford 210x140 Advert1.pdf 1 30/09/2019

increased turnover on the Irish Sea from £900,000 to £5.5 million and is looking ahead to the new decade with a similar objective. As for the recovery from Covid

numbers drivers)

decreased by 66.2% to 264,000 and there were no cruise ship calls - and none are anticipated for the remainder of the year.


in the Irish market: “It is going to continue be something to watch and see; with the lockdown liſting and consumers returning it will improve. The run up to Christmas will be an interesting one to watch

UK domestic market year on year with five nightly trunks into both Northern and Central Hubs.” In Ireland, Harbour is currently

midway through building its new 110,000sq ſt Dublin facility which will be operational mid- 2021, a €14 million investment on behalf of the group that will bring “massive operational efficiencies and growth”. The company is also looking at replacing its UK head office in Manchester with new larger facilities in the fourth quarter of 2021 to enable it to service its customer base throughout the North and Midlands. To support the increase in

to see if the usual seasonal upturn will be there.” Covid has however proved to be an issue from an operational and personnel point of view, Swinburn continues: “With the current spike in the UK North west - our UK head office is based in Manchester - it has been particularly challenging but we have followed all government advice and exceeded it, with a strong multiple daily cleaning regime of our facilities and all drivers ensuring units are cleaned at the beginning and end of shiſts and any driver changeovers at night.”

Harbour International has been the Irish member for the CTN forwarder’s network for several years, handling inbound shipments and customs formalities. “It has proven to be an asset to Harbour - a strong and

reliable global network and with it being a broader range of traffic and countries, it does help us to weather any storms as and when different parts of the world are affected by economic or other issues.” Harbour is also a member of the

Pall-Ex pallet network. With the recent acquisition of Pall-Ex and now Fortec by the membership and management: “We are a leading shareholder member and able to play our part in key decisions and the direction of the network. Volumes are increasing month by month network-wide and Harbour in particular has experienced a 100% increase in volumes for the

volumes it has recently purchased some new Montracon double deck trailers and added additional vehicles to its owned haulage fleet in Manchester along with new vehicles at the Cork depot. Harbour recently recruited

four new members of staff at its Manchester depot and will be looking to further add to that later this year and next. With a potential Brexit looming this may increase further with additional customs clearance staff. Swinburn concludes: “We are

always on the lookout for growth opportunities and any bolt on acquisitions to support our long- term business plans, whether that be in the UK, Ireland and Europe.”

Port of Cork activity bobs up again


The Port of Cork has regained its poise after a slight wobble during the Covid crisis, with traffic returning to something like normal levels. “We continued at full belt,” says chief commercial officer Conor Mowlds, “which is a tribute to our teams.” He continues: “We did see

a dip in lo lo traffic, but it recovered and wasn’t as severe as we thought it might be. Cork has perhaps been insulated from the worst effects because it operates in some niche sectors like agri food, pharma and tech, which were less affected by the crisis.” The port has a very strong

local traffic base as both the pharma and agri sectors are heavily concentrated in the Munster area. There was a dip in trade

car imports and at one point predictions were quite dire, but these too have recovered and

the word from the industry is that sales are picking up again. Cruise traffic has obviously

virtually ceased and passenger ferries have also been badly affected but the Brittany Ferries service to Roscoff out of the ro ro terminal at Ringaskiddy continued throughout the crisis. Crisis or not, there have

been some significant service developments in Cork, notably the new CLdN container and ro ro service to Zeebrugge. “This is our first direct freight service to the heart of Europe,” Mowlds explains. “And not only that, but it could become hugely important as we face down the barrel of a hard Brexit.” With negotiations between the UK and EU taking a turn for the worse, a ‘Brexit bypass’ service that can avoid problems on UK landbridge ports could become very important

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