Developing Ireland’s Most Advanced Container Terminal

Port of Cork
Port of Cork

By The Maritime Executive 01-10-2019 05:21:44

Since the global financial crisis trade growth has been cautious, and in 2019 we’re going to start seeing the full effects of IMO’s 2020 sulfur cap, Brexit and tariffs on Chinese and American trade to name just three of the many challenges ahead. 

The last thing that container lines need to add to that list is concern about the competence of the port they’re visiting. Dwell times, unproductive terminals and waiting around for trucks before handling are all issues that we have the technology and the know-how to resolve. Unfortunately, they’re still an accepted cost of doing business at too many terminals. 

What’s more, the lack of visibility that results comes at a substantial expense. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated in 2018 that each second of time lost costs shipping lines €1 ($1.15), and multiplied globally, that quickly becomes millions of wasted Euros each day. Not only carriers are affected though. Inefficient supply chains incur unnecessary costs for everyone and serve as a major brake on economic growth. 

To successfully deliver a major port project requires a wide-ranging consideration of supply and demand, local and regional competition and hinterland transport infrastructure. During the planning phase for the Port of Cork Container Terminal we undertook years of research. It led to many insights. The most successful ports were the ones that understood the way that market dynamics have evolved and how customer needs had changed, and invested in the people, technology, and facilities required.

The Cork Container Terminal will be a state-of-the-art transhipment hub that’s capitalizing on eight successive years of throughput growth in Irish ports, and a GDP growth rate that the E.U. estimated was more than 5.5 percent in 2018. The Port of Cork’s €80 million ($92 million) investment will see the construction of a 360-meter quay with 13-meter depth alongside and will have a capacity of 330,000 TEUs per year. By providing the fastest and most seamless port logistics in Ireland, it will not only be an international gateway for trade, but also a key element in boosting local and regional economic growth when it becomes operational in 2020. 

When ports prosper, they add to the wealth of nations. They’re the crucial interface between land and sea, and by marrying the natural advantages of our deep-water port with the latest technologies, the Cork Container Terminal will future-proof Ireland's international connectivity and its commercial success. 

Brendan Keating is CEO of the Port of Cork.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.