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 2% in 3Q16 compared to the same quarter in 2015. At 940, the iShip index has registered its highest figure in any Q3 period since records began in 2007. The latest analysis indicates that four of the five principal freight segments grew in 3Q16.
Unitised traffic, which consists of Ro-Ro and Lo-Lo traffic, continued to rise steadily. Unitised traffic for this quarter grew by 6% when compared to 3Q15.
The majority of Ro-Ro traffic moves between Ireland and Great Britain. The Ro-Ro freight sector saw volume growth of 5% in Q3. This is the fourth consecutive Q3 increase in this freight category since 2012.
As for Lo-Lo traffic, this has now seen three consecutive Q3 increases, the largest of which (6%) has come this quarter. Both Lo-Lo imports and exports performed strongly, rising by 5% and 7% respectively. Overall, Lo/Lo laden traffic in ROI increased 6% to 174 791 TEU.
The overall bulk traffic segment saw tonnage volumes decrease by 0.02%, excluding transhipments, when compared to the previous year. This was driven primarily by a 10% drop-off in liquid bulk as well as a 14% drop in coal. Break bulk, which largely consists of imports of construction and project related commodities, increased by 7%.
There was a 3% rise in dry bulk traffic for 3Q16, driven mainly by fertilizer. This reflects the reality that a high degree of fluctuation in traffic volume is typical in the dry bulk market when viewed on a quarterly basis.
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