Shipping Passenger Traffic Up For First Half of 2007

The Irish shipping passenger market continues to show steady signs of recovery, according to a mid-year analysis of sea passenger traffic carried out by the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).  

Mid year estimates for the first six months of 2007 show the total passenger market increased by five per cent when compared to the same period last year, rising from 1,392,992 to 1460,621 passengers.  

Speaking at the National Ports Conference in Dublin last Friday the Minister for Transport Mr. Noel Dempsey TD, welcomed the recent analysis commenting that “The historic trend of declining passenger and car numbers in light of strong competition from the airlines is now showing some signs of reversal in direct response to the recent successful marketing initiatives from the ferry companies and the ports.”  

The latest passenger results come shortly after a further positive six  months analysis of the Irish shipping container sector by the IMDO, which estimated that the load-on/load off (lo/lo) sector grew by 11 per cent and the ro/ro sector by 12 per cent, compared to the same period last year. In particular, the lo/lo sector continues to be driven by the large volume of container imports from the Asian market, especially by imports from China, while IMDO estimates that exports volumes of laden lo/lo containers increased by only six  per cent for this period.  

“The latest midyear reports continue to underline the important role that Irish ports and shipping sectors play as facilitators of economic growth, efficiency and competition” said Glenn Murphy, Director of the IMDO.  

This latest upward trend in Irish shipping and container volumes appears to show good correlation with recent mid year Central Statistics Office and other trade data.   IMDO’s analysis also shows that the ro/ro market provided 582 weekly services from Ireland to 14 ports in the UK and France by eight operators, providing 29 million lane metres of available capacity per week.

The lo/lo market currently provides 85 sailings per week to 53 European ports and 1 port in North America by 17 independent operators. Rotterdam is the main destination, with 51 sailings from Ireland per week.  

Full details are available on 


For further information please contact:

Mr. Glenn Murphy – IMDO Phone: + 353 (0) 87 6296399  

Notes to Editor  

Imports, Exports and Consumer Spending

Consumer spending in Ireland during the first quarter of 2007 was 5.6 per cent higher when compared with the same period in 2006. Capital investment, trade surplus and the volume of industry output all increased on the same period last year. GNP growth for this year is estimated at five  per cent as is GDP growth. 

Although these figures are slightly less then 2006 this growth rate is still strong by international standards.   Although growth in the US economy has shown signs of slowing recently, by contrast other major regions in particular the euro area and Japan are experiencing a pick-up in output growth. 

In terms of Irish trade performance; the trade surplus is €278 million higher then the same period in 2006. On an unadjusted basis the value of exports for the first half of 2007 increased six  per cent when compared the same period in 2006. Imports also increased by five  per cent, in particular goods from our main trading partners along with China and the Far East (six  per cent).  

In the early part of 2007 export growth has performed well when compared to the same period in 2006 this seems to reflect an improvement in certain sectors such as chemicals, with organic chemicals growing 33 per cent since on the same period in 2006. Strong consumer demand and an increasing level of trade in equipment and chemicals is a key component of the growth in port traffic over the first half of the year.   

The Irish Maritime Development Office

The Irish Maritime Development Office, of the Marine Institute, was established by statute in December 1999 as the national agency charged with the responsibility for undertaking the following activities through its statutory remit: 

  • To advise the Minister on the development and co-ordination of policy in the shipping and shipping services sector.
  • To promote and assist the development of Irish shipping and Irish shipping services,
  • To liaise with, support and market the shipping and shipping services sector,
  • To carry out policy as may be specified by the Minister relating to the shipping and shipping services sector and seafarer training,  

The Department of Transport assumed responsibility for the Ports and Shipping services sector in January 2006.