Ireland points to modest trade recovery



Latest figures from the Irish Maritime Development Office ( IMDO) in Dublin, show that since March, there has been an ongoing slight increase in port traffic on a month-by-month basis.

In both May and June, volumes were up by 4% each month. However, the overall figures are still well down on last year’s. But the IMDO warns that Irish ports still have much leeway to make up to return to the peak traffic levels seen in 2007. Since then, ports in the island of Ireland have seen a steady decline in traffic, although during the past few months, that decline has been reversed slightly.

For the first six months of 2009, lo-lo traffic fell by 24%compared to the same period of 2008, while ro-ro traffic was down 13%. A total of 753,845 freight units were handled at all Irish ports in the first six months of 2009, against 869,146 in the same period of last year. Bulk also showed a big drop, down by 21%. The latest figures show that the fall in consumer demand led to a 30% drop in the amount of containers coming into Irish ports.

But despite these steep declines, the latest figures show that modest recovery is already under way in ports throughout Ireland.