Freight News, Sea

Boxes keep Cork buoyant

[ February 11, 2021   //   ]

Traffic through Cork was down 2% to 9.2 million tonnes in 2020 due to the challenges posed by Covid 19 but containers were up 4% at 250,000teu, said the port in its latest statistics.

The Port attributed the strong performance to introduction of several new services. In April 2020, CLdN Ro-Ro started a new weekly freight service between Cork and Zeebrugge, subsequently increased to twice weekly, highlighting the demand for direct, unaccompanied freight links to the EU as shippers look to avoid the UK land bridge following Brexit.

Then, in June 2020, Independent Container Line (ICL) started weekly direct service from Cork to the US, giving Ireland its first direct container service to North America in many years.

Covid 19 impacted heavily on tourism, with Brittany Ferries services to the continent decreasing sharply and only two cruise ship calls completed, compared to over a hundred calls in the previous year.

Other areas of Port traffic, such as liquid bulk and break bulk decreased marginally but the port said it expects these areas will return to growth in 2021.

Chief commercial officer, Conor Mowlds, said: “While 2020 was a challenging year, our port operations remained open throughout and we continued to play an important role in ensuring supply chains were maintained across the southern half of the country. Even with the challenges of the global pandemic and the advent of Brexit, the Port of Cork has welcomed several new freight services to the continent and an exciting, innovative direct link to the US, showing our resilience and capability to adapt, and our commitment to fulfilling our role as a vital cog in keeping the region moving.”

Sister operation Bantry Bay Port Company, reported an increase in total trade traffic in 2020 to 1.3 million Tonnes.