Rail freight in Ireland now accounts for as little as 1.4% of the land freight market. While this mode of transportong goods has been in rapid decline for a decade or more, it has seen something of a resurgence at Dublin Port. This is due in no small part to the availability of the Port's own rail infrastructure which Dublin Port Company undertook to retain and maintain over the years in order to facilitate the movement of goods to market by rail once again.
This is in place with the 5 days a week Iarnrod Eireann train service from Ballina, Co. Mayo to Dublin Port carrying Coca-Cola concentrate made by Ballina Beverages destined for markets in Mexico, India, Japan, Turkey and Australia. In addition 400,000 tonnes of lead and zinc concentrate are transported from Tara Mines to Dublin Port annually.
Seatruck Ferries have introduced a new freight-only service to Heysham in Februaury 2011 adding to their freight services between Dublin and Liverpool.
March 2010 saw the arrival of two new tugs worth €12 million as part of Dublin Port Companys fleet upgrade programme of €16m. The two tractor tugs, Shackleton and Beaufort, are 24 metres long and with a 50 tonne bollard pull are 50% more powerful than the two vessels they replaced. Built at the Astilleros Zamakona shipyard in Bilbao, Spain, the tugs have a distinctly Irish feel with their green and white colouring and being named after two remarkable Irish explorers, Ernest Shackleton and Sir Francis Beaufort.
RoRo Service between Dublin Port and Continental Europe
CLdN (Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Navigation SA) has introduced the concept of new build RoRo vessels to link Continental Europe with the Port of Dublin. Today the Line operates two sailings each week from Rotterdam and two sailings each week from Zeebrugge serving the industrial heartland of Europe direct to Ireland. The ships are designed for the carriage of trailers, containers, tank-containers and other wheeledequipment. The Zeebrugge service is operated in conjunction with C2C, an established name on the Irish Sea for the carriage of containers from France and Belguim.
CLdN’s (Compagnie Luxemburgeoise de navigation SA) largest vessel in the fleet m.v. Pauline arrived in Dublin Port from Zeebrugge in January 2011. “Pauline” was built in 2006 is almost 50,000gt and is 203metres long. Classed as a HumberMax vessel she has a capacity of 3,904 lane metres on flat decks of which 1.728 lm double stack, equivalent to 5,632 plus 656 cars.