The impact of Brexit is now permanently changing Dublin Port as traffic patterns change


Brexit has accelerated the pace of change in Dublin Port, Cormac Kennedy, Head of Property at Dublin Port Company, told me as he showed me the new ‘Inland Port’ at the M50/M2 junction near Dublin Airport.

A master plan strategy was already underway prior to Brexit to free up land within the main port by encouraging non-core uses, particularly container storage, to locate on the inland site.

However, Brexit has changed the pattern of business and while two-thirds of Ireland’s business was with the UK and the other third with mainland Europe, this balance has already shifted to 52 per cent with the UK.

The impact for the port is that while a significant amount of UK cargo is ‘manned’ and driven out of the port on arrival, the majority of European traffic is ‘loaded/unloaded’ unescorted, with containers remaining at the quay longer and valuable goods eat up farm space.

Phase 1 of the 43 hectare (106 acres) Dublin Inland Port opened this year. The first rental went to Dublin Ferryport Terminals, which stores, prepares and transports empty containers for logistics customers on an area of ​​5.5 hectares.

Mr. Kennedy told me that this facility is so busy that the port company is freeing up another 8 acres of yard space to lease to an existing port container operator. Farm size is reported to be approximately €50,000 per acre per year and Lisney is asking for nominations by July 8th.

Land at the Dublin Inland Port will be released in phases, with plots being made available for both empty containers and ‘loaded containers’ and carrier yards designed to be transparent to entice existing port users to move to the suburban site .

In order to better manage the handling in the main port, the company intends to reduce the number of days off a container can spend in the port from the current four days to three next year and two in the following year.

The company also intends to develop “loaded container” facilities at the inland port and encourage shippers to park loaded containers there during off-peak weekend or night times for onward transport.

At the Mainhafen, the port company is continuing to develop in accordance with its 2040 master plan. “The port will reach its maximum capacity of 77 million tons throughput by 2040,” Kennedy told me, “and maintenance requires maximizing the port’s capacity.”

The restructuring strategy consists of three pillars; The first is the ongoing rehabilitation of the Alexandra Basin, which includes dredging the main channel to a depth of 10 meters to accommodate larger vessels and building new berths and jetties.

The Port of Dublin imports around a third of Ireland’s energy needs and in anticipation of a reduction in oil imports, one of four existing oil berths will be filled which, together with one new berth, will further increase capacity. Planning permission has been secured for the MP2 project, which will see gradual development works in the north-eastern part of the port starting next year.

Third, the 3FM project in the South Harbour, which will apply for planning permission in 2023, includes a new cargo access route across the Liffey, new container terminals, public parks and “active voyage routes”.

Mr. Kennedy concludes by stating that a second, cargo-carrying port will be needed on the east coast after 2040, primarily due to population growth. The Dublin Port Company has published their thoughts on this at The impact of Brexit is now permanently changing Dublin Port as traffic patterns change

Fry Electronics Team

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