Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Irish Freight Upturns Will Please Shipping and Forwarding Community

Latest Port Numbers Reflect Growing Confidence
Shipping News Feature

IRELAND – The latest figures published by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) would seem to confirm the mood throughout the shipping and forwarding community in the UK and Ireland that things are looking up of late. Irish shipping and port activity rose by 2% in the second quarter of 2014 when compared to the corresponding period of 2013, according to the latest quarterly iShip Index which reviews freight across several sectors.

In addition to the current rise the latest analysis also indicates that four of the five principal freight segments grew in the second quarter of 2014. The roll on/roll off freight segment experienced volume growth of 7% in the second quarter to 244,629 units and is the sixth consecutive quarterly increase in freight trailers. The majority of roll on/roll off traffic moves between Ireland and Great Britain and this freight segment is a simple but reliable indicator of the level of trade between both economies.

Container traffic (lift on/lift off) grew by 5% to 154,725 units. Encouragingly container imports have now risen for three consecutive quarters; Q4 2013 +3%, Q1 2014 +6% and Q2 2014 +7%. Container exports continued to growth increasing by 2%. Container operators have noticed a significant increase in deep sea traffic from Asia since the beginning of the year which bodes well for domestic consumption in the coming quarter.

The overall bulk traffic segment saw tonnage volumes decline by 8% when compared to the previous year. Break bulk, which largely consists of imports of construction and project related commodities, increased by 34%. Break bulk has now seen four consecutive quarterly increases.

The iShip Index is a weighted indicator comprised of five separate indices, representing the main maritime freight categories moving through Ports in the State: Lo-Lo, Ro-Ro, Dry Bulk, Liquid Bulk & Break Bulk with the Lo-Lo Index comprising only laden traffic. As all three bulk segments are traditionally measured in tonnage, Lo-Lo and Ro-Ro traffic have been converted into tonnage terms, enabling the index to be built from a common denominator. The major ports of Ireland are all included in the statistics.