About Dublin Port

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.  Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland with all cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port.

Dublin Port is one of five major ports classified as Tier 1 / Tier 2 ports in National Port Policy and categorised as core / comprehensive ports in the EU’s TEN-T network.  Dublin Port’s large share of national port volumes, particularly in the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo modes, arises due to a combination of two factors, location and depth of water. Dublin Port is a key part of the national port system and Dublin Port Company seeks to ensure that it plays its role in providing national port capacity.

Dublin Port handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland. Located in the heart of Dublin City and at the hub of the national road and rail network, Dublin Port is a key strategic access point for Ireland and in particular the Dublin area.



The latest figures show a growth in unitised volumes (Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo combined) of +3.6% to 1.5 million units.  Over the six years since the economic recovery began in 2013, unitised trade has grown by +41.3%.

The continued strength in unitised growth was, however, offset by a large one-off decline in Bulk Solid commodities and, as a result, overall tonnage growth for the year was just +0.4%.

Growth in unitised trade during 2019 

Looking at the 2019 trade figures in detail, containers and freight trailers accounted for 83% of all cargo and both the Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo sectors grew strongly:

  • Ro-Ro grew by +2.6% in 2019 to 1.1m Ro-Ro units (1,059,103)
  • Lo-Lo container volumes grew by +6.5% to 774,000 TEU and have now, 12 years later, finally surpassed the pre-recession level of 2007

Imports of new trade vehicles through Dublin Port decreased by -4.4% to 99,000 during 2019.

Bulk liquid volumes, comprising mostly petroleum products, grew by 0.9% to 4.7m tonnes driven by increasing activity in the road transport and aviation sectors.  Petroleum imports through Dublin Port are now 14.4% higher than they were in 2007.  

Bulk solid commodities declined by 23.4% to 1.8m tonnes due, firstly, to 2018 having been an exceptionally strong year for agri-feed imports and, secondly, because of the cessation of exports from Boliden Tara Mines for a four-month period while major construction works in Alexandra Basin were proceeding.  These works are now complete, and exports of lead and zinc ore concentrates have fully resumed. These two factors also reduced the number of ship arrivals in 2019 by 71 down to 7,898.

Ferry passenger volumes increased by +6.7% to 1,949,000.  Similarly, the number of tourist vehicles increased by 9.9 % to 560,000. 

Dublin Port’s cruise business grew again with 158 cruise ship arrivals (compared to 150 in 2018) and growth of +16.7% in visitor numbers.  The average size of cruise ship increased yet again reaching 55,648 gross tonnes in 2018, an increase of +11.1% compared to the previous year.

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