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Background Notes


This release contains the results of an annual analysis of activity at Irish ports in 2015. The data is compiled from returns made by Scheduled Harbour Authorities, State Companies and a number of other harbours as outlined below:


Scheduled harbour authorities

Arklow harbour commissioners

Bantry Bay harbour commissioners

Kilrush town council

Kinsale harbour commissioners

Sligo harbour commissioners

Tralee and Fenit pier and harbour commissioners

Youghal town council


State Companies

Drogheda port company

Dublin port company

Dundalk port company

Dun Laoghaire harbour company

Galway harbour company

New Ross port company

Port of Cork company

Port of Waterford company

Shannon Foynes port company

Wicklow port company


Other harbours

Castletownbere fishery harbour centre

Greenore port

Killybegs fishery harbour centre

Rosslare Europort


As the figures (detailed in tables 1-15) have been rounded independently there may be slight discrepancies between the sum of the constituent items and the totals shown.  A ‘0’ indicates a value that has been rounded to zero, whereas a ‘-’ indicates no activity.



Tonnage of Goods:

This includes the weight of immediate packaging material but excludes, in the case of containerised traffic, the weight of containers.  The tonnage of goods for roll-on/roll-off traffic may be based on estimated coefficients for certain vehicle categories. The export of live cattle on the hoof is excluded from the tonnage of goods in this release.

Region of Trade:

Coastal - Trade between Irish ports excluding Northern Ireland.

Great Britain & Northern Ireland - Includes Isle of Man and other British crown dependencies.

Other EU - Trade with ports in European countries that are members of the E.U. excluding Ireland and Great Britain.  Outermost regions of Member States (e.g. the Canary Islands) are included.

Non EU - Trade with ports in European countries that are not members of the E.U.

Other Ports - Trade with ports in Non European countries.

Gross Tonnage of Vessels:

The measure of the overall size of a ship determined in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969.

Vessel types:

Only the activity of trading vessels, car ferries and other passenger vessels is covered in the series. Only vessels of at least 100 gross tonnes are included.  The following vessels are excluded:

–  Fish-catching vessels

–  Fish-processing vessels

–  Vessels for drilling and exploration (exception: Killybegs)

–  Tugs

–  Pusher craft

–  Research and survey vessels

–  Dredgers

–  Naval vessels

–  Vessels used solely for non-commercial purposes

–  Vessels entering the ports for shelter

Vessel types are classified according to the International Classification of Ship Types (ICST-COM).  Cruise liners are included where passengers embark or disembark in port.


The ship categories included under each vessel type are outlined below:

Liquid bulk vessels:

Oil tanker

Chemical tanker

Liquid gas tanker

Tanker barge

Other tanker


Dry bulk vessels:

Bulk/oil carrier

Bulk carrier


Container vessels:

Full container


Specialised vessels:

Barge carrier

Chemical carrier

Irradiated fuel carrier

Livestock carrier

Vehicle carrier

Other specialised carrier


General cargo vessels:


Ro-ro passenger

Ro-ro container

Other ro-ro container

Combination carrier general cargo/passenger

Combination carrier general cargo/container

Single decker



Passenger vessels:

Cruise liners

Other passenger only vessels


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