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For more information on this release:
E-mail: Sandra O'Riordan +353 21 453 5544 Brendan Curtin +353 21 453 5120
For general information on CSO statistics: (+353) 21 453 5000 On-line ISSN 2009-6380
CSO statistical release, , 11am

Statistics of Port Traffic

Quarter 3 2019

Tonnage of goods handled by main Irish ports, Quarter 3 2017-2019
  '000 tonnes
Category of goodsQ3 2017Q3 2018Q3 2019% Change Q3 2018-2019
Liquid bulk3,0472,9222,9802.0%
Dry bulk3,6224,0753,173-22.1%
Break bulk & other goods25518525437.3%

Main Irish ports handled 12.4 million tonnes of goods in Quarter 3 2019

Statistics of port traffic Figure 1 – Cargo handled
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The seven main Irish ports handled 12.4 million tonnes of goods in Q3 2019, a decrease of 5.7% compared with Q3 2018. Goods forwarded from these ports amounted to 4.3 million tonnes in Q3 2019, while a total of 8.1 million tonnes of goods were received. See table 2.

The tonnage of goods handled decreased in two of the five traffic categories in Q3 2019, with the largest decrease in Dry bulk goods (-22.1%). See table 2 and graph.

 The results also show that:

  • The number of vessels arriving during Quarter 3 2019 in the seven main Irish ports decreased by 176 (-5.2%), while the gross tonnage of all arriving vessels rose by 4.9% to 74,417 thousand tonnes. See table 1.
  • Great Britain & Northern Ireland accounted for 44.2% of the total tonnage of goods handled in the main ports by region of trade in Q3 2019, and other EU countries accounted for one third of trade (33.5%). See table 5
  • Dublin port accounted for 64.2% of all vessel arrivals in Irish ports and over half (52.1%) of the total tonnage of goods handled in Q3 2019. 
  • Irish ports handled 1.1 million passengers in Q3 2019, a decrease of 1.8% compared with the same period in 2018. In the third quarter of 2019, Dublin port accounted for 71.7% of all passenger journeys. See table 6.
Table 1: Number of arrivals and gross tonnage of vessels, Quarter 3 2017-2019
PortQ3 2017 Q3 2018 Q3 2019
NumberGross tonnage '000 NumberGross tonnage '000 NumberGross tonnage '000
Bantry Bay7262 7234 8181
Cork3325,941 4248,092 4078,324
Drogheda84227 123327 101284
Dublin2,05546,867 2,07946,636 2,05651,751
Rosslare4619,153 46312,864 41411,329
Shannon Foynes981,435 1411,693 1101,592
Waterford112682 1411,110 106957
Total3,14964,567 3,37870,957 3,20274,417
Table 2: Tonnage of goods handled classified by category of traffic, Quarter 3 2017-2019
Category of trafficQ3 2017Q3 2018Q3 2019% Change Q3 2018-2019
Goods received
Liquid bulk2,2502,3162,3822.8%
Dry bulk 2,6303,1292,330-25.5%
Lift-on/lift-off traffic1,0111,0801,071-0.8%
Roll-on/roll-off traffic2,0952,1992,185-0.6%
Break bulk and all other goods1349413947.9%
Total 8,1218,8188,107-8.1%
Goods forwarded
Liquid bulk797606599-1.2%
Dry bulk 992946843-10.9%
Lift-on/lift-off traffic8608639085.2%
Roll-on/roll-off traffic1,8061,8381,838-
Break bulk and all other goods1219111425.3%
Total 4,5774,3444,301-1.0%
Total goods handled
Liquid bulk3,0472,9222,9802.0%
Dry bulk 3,6224,0753,173-22.1%
Lift-on/lift-off traffic1,8721,9421,9781.9%
Roll-on/roll-off traffic3,9014,0374,022-0.4%
Break bulk and all other goods25518525437.3%
Total 12,69713,16212,408-5.7%
Table 3: Details of roll-on/roll-off traffic handled by port, Quarter 3 2019
PortPassenger cars, motorcycles and accompanying trailers/caravansPassenger busesTrade vehicles1Freight vehicles/trailers2
Number Number NumberTonnes '000LoadedEmpty
   NumberTonnes '000Number
Cork9,909 16 3,7095 91513118
Dublin114,521 1,377 13,57813 135,9171,9346,313
Rosslare40,657 418 2,2123 14,508217401
Total165,087 1,811 19,49920 151,3402,1646,832
Cork9,947 9 1690 8751326
Dublin104,816 2,218 3050 129,5471,53229,067
Rosslare39,516 496 270 16,812292221
Total154,279 2,723 5010 147,2341,83729,314
Cork19,856 25 3,8785 1,79026144
Dublin219,337 3,595 13,88313 265,4643,46635,380
Rosslare80,173 914 2,2393 31,320509622
Total319,366 4,534 20,00021 298,5744,00236,146
1 Vehicles imported or exported
2 Includes data on (a) road goods vehicles and accompanying trailers (b) unaccompanied road goods trailers and semi trailers and
(c ) unaccompanied caravans and other road, agricultural and industrial trailers
Table 4: Details of lift-on/lift-off traffic handled by port, Quarter 3 2019
PortLoaded units Empty unitsTotal units
NumberTEU's1Tonnes '000 NumberTEU's1 NumberTEU's1
Total112,558204,0801,978 35,62862,114 148,186266,194
1 TEU Twenty-foot equivalent unit = 1360 cubic feet
Table 5: Total tonnage of goods handled classified by port and region of trade, Quarter 3 2019
Region of trade
PortGreat Britain & Northern IrelandOther EUNon-EU1Other ports2Coastal tradeTotal
Bantry Bay---85-85
Shannon Foynes314992678711052,348
1 Trade with ports in European countries that are not members of the E.U.
2 Trade with ports in Non-European countries
Table 6: Passengers1 disembarking/embarking classified by port and route, Quarter 3 2019
Great Britain  France Other2
FishguardHolyheadLiverpoolPembroke CherbourgRoscoffSantander
  Cork---- -247-30
  Dublin-3425- 50--3400
  Rosslare42--68 14---125
  Total42342568 642473555
  Cork---- -246-29
  Dublin-3284- 45--3381
  Rosslare45--66 14---125
  Total45328466 592463535
All Passengers
  Cork---- -4812-60
  Dublin -6709- 95--6781
  Rosslare87--134 28---250
  Total876709134 123481261,090
1 Excluding cruise passengers on excursion
2 Including other British and French ports

Background Notes


This release contains the results of a quarterly analysis of activity at the main Irish ports. The data is compiled from returns made by Scheduled Harbour Authorities, State Companies and a number of other harbours.

Data is received on a quarterly basis from the following ports, Bantry, Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Rosslare, Shannon and Waterford.

Annual data is supplied by the smaller ports as follows, Arklow, Castletownbere, Dundalk, Dun Laoghaire, Galway, Greenore, Killybegs, Kilrush, Kinsale, New Ross, Sligo, Tralee, Wicklow and Youghal.

This is a full breakdown of all ports.

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 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.



Category of Goods:
Liquid bulk - A type of bulk cargo that consists of liquid items, such as petroleum, water, or liquid natural gas.
Dry bulk - Any material, other than a liquid or gas, that is transported in a loose form without any packaging.
Lift-on lift-off - Containerised cargo typically lifted on and off vessels by specially designed cranes and derricks (usually abbreviated as LoLo).
Roll-on roll-off - Wheeled cargo units either driven or pulled aboard vessels via vessel ramps (usually abbreviated as RoRo).
Break bulk & other goods – General cargo that must be loaded individually onto vessels, and not in intermodal containers or in bulk as with oil or grain.


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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