The Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) has published its latest iShip index measuring shipping and port activity in the Republic of Ireland. The index shows a 2% drop in the fourth quarter of 2016 as compared to the corresponding period in 2015.
The IMDO states the drop can be ‘largely explained’ by a 7% contraction in Bulk traffic, which was driven by a 10% fall in Dry Bulk freight. Unitised trade, comprising Lift-on Lift-off and Roll-on Roll-off traffic, rose steadily, and correlates well with Irish GDP levels.
Over 80% of the Irish Roll-on Roll-off traffic moves between the UK and the Republic, and grew by 7% year on year in Q4 2016. Lift-on Lift-off grew by 5% in the same time period, and by 6% when compared to the January-December year-on-year timeframe.
The 10% decrease in Dry Bulk traffic is explained in the IMDO’s index as being due to a decline in volumes of coal and animal feed, falling 51% and 9% respectively.
Liquid Bulk traffic also saw a 4% fall in Q4 2016, while Break Bulk grew 3%.
Offsetting some of the drop in Bulk traffic in the Republic, Northern Irish ports reported a 6% growth in Total Bulk traffic in Q4.
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