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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Statistics of Port Traffic


Tonnage of goods handled, 2016-2017
  000 tonnes
Category of goods20162017change
Liquid bulk11,27412,211+8.3%
Dry bulk15,93716,805+5.4%
Break bulk & other goods1,3871,486+7.2%

Irish ports handled 53.3 million tonnes of goods in 2017

Statistics of port traffic Figure 1 – Cargo handled
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Irish ports handled 53.3 million tonnes of goods in 2017, an increase of 5.2% when compared with 2016.  Goods forwarded from Irish ports amounted to 17.8 million tonnes in 2017, while a total of 35.5 million tonnes of goods were received in 2017, both increasing by 5.2% when compared with the previous year. See table 4.

The tonnage of goods handled rose in all five traffic categories in 2017, with the largest annual percentage increase in liquid bulk goods (+8.3%) and the smallest in lift-on/lift-off goods (+1.6%). 

Dublin port accounted for 60% of all vessel arrivals in Irish ports and almost half (46.9%) of the total tonnage of goods handled in 2017. See tables 1 and 8B.

Almost three quarters of the total tonnage of goods handled was accounted for by trade with Great Britain & Northern Ireland and other EU countries (41.7% and 32.6% respectively). Roll-on/roll-off traffic accounted for 60% of trade with Great Britain & Northern Ireland. Dry bulk goods and Lift-on/lift-off traffic accounted for 73% of trade with Other EU countries, while 80% of trade with Non-European ports was dry bulk goods. See table 5C.

The annual analysis also shows that:

  • The number of vessels arriving annually in Irish ports decreased marginally (-0.6%) to 12,829 in 2017, while the gross tonnage of these vessels rose by 1.7% to 243.0 million tonnes. See table 1.
  • Goods received accounted for two-thirds (66.5%) of the total tonnage of goods handled in 2017, as was the case in 2016. See table 4.
  • Of the total weight of goods handled in 2017, dry bulk accounted for 31.5%, roll-on/roll-off 29.0%, liquid bulk 22.9%, lift-on/lift-off 13.8% and break bulk 2.8%.
  • The routes between Dublin and three UK ports – Holyhead, Liverpool and Milford Haven Liverpool were the busiest routes for inward movement of goods in 2017.  The Dublin-Holyhead and Dublin-Liverpool routes were also the busiest routes in terms of goods forwarded. See tables 10A and 10B.