DUBLIN: According to the latest iShip Index published by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO), shipping and port activity in the Republic of Ireland rose by 1% in the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the corresponding period of 2016. Unitised traffic – which consists of Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) and Lift-on/Lift-off (Lo/Lo) traffic – continued to rise, growing by 3% when compared to Q2 2016.
The majority of Ro/Ro traffic moves between Ireland and Great Britain, meaning this freight segment is a simple but reliable indicator as to the level of trade between both economies. The Ro/Ro freight sector for the Republic of Ireland saw volume growth of 3% in the second quarter of 2017. This is the fifth consecutive Q2 increase in this freight category. As for Lo/Lo (containership) traffic, Lo/Lo exports in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) rose by 7.4% compared to Q2 2016, while Lo/Lo imports remained relatively unchanged – rising by 0.9%. Overall, Lo/Lo traffic in ROI increased by 3.7% to 184,673 TEU. When reviewing unitised traffic it is worth noting that both Lo/Lo and Ro/Ro freight segments move in an all-island setting. Therefore, when Northern Irish (NI) ports are included, all-island Ro/Ro volumes grew by 2% in Q2 2017. All-island Lo/Lo traffic grew by 3.5%, with all-island imports and exports rising by 1.1% and 6.6% respectively compared to Q2 2016. NI Ro/Ro volumes grew by 2%, while NI Lo/Lo traffic grew by 2.8%. This was driven primarily by 4% growth in NI Lo/Lo exports. The Bulk traffic segment saw tonnage volumes decrease by 1% (excluding transhipments) in the Republic of Ireland when compared to the same period last year. This was driven primarily by a 3% fall in Dry Bulk tonnage. Break bulk volumes grew by 3% while liquid Bulk traffic remained stable compared to Q2 2016.