9 July 2022
By Tom Collins
The port to fully relocate its container business from Tivoli to Ringaskiddy once the M28 Ringaskiddy motorway is complete
The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) has published its Annual Report for 2021, highlighting strong financial performance, with turnover and profit improvement as a result of growth in port traffic combined with a strong focus on efficiency.
The report shows a steady recovery as a result of Covid-19 and Brexit challenges, with an 18% increase in turnover from €33.7m in 2020 to €39.8m in 2021. The company’s profits also increased, with an operating profit of €7.8 million (€6.1m in 2020).
The Port of Cork is the second largest port in the State in terms of turnover, handling all cargo types including lift-on lift-off, bulk liquid, bulk solid, break bulk, roll-on roll-off and cruise. In 2021, the Ports of Cork and Bantry reported a total consolidated traffic throughput of 10.6 million tonnes in line with 2020.
Due to the retention of existing traffic and the commencement of a number of services direct to Europe from Ringaskiddy following Brexit, the number of container twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) increased by 13% to a record 281,816 TEUs (2020: 250,209 TEUs).
The liquid and break bulk, lift-on lift-off containers, Con-Ro, and trade car imports all improved significantly in 2021 and dry bulk imports remained in line with 2020. Employment figures increased from 155 to 164 with employee costs rising from €12.33m to €14.4m.
Due to Covid 19, the Company was forced to cope with the continued collapse of the cruise liner trade and the decline in tourism. In April 2022, the cruise sector successfully recommenced and the Port of Cork welcomed a strong uplift in tourism trade.
A monumental moment for PoCC in 2021 was the completion of the €89 million Cork Container Terminal (CCT) in Ringaskiddy. This investment represents the biggest single investment in marine infrastructure in the port’s history. While some vessels docked at CCT in 2021, it commenced container operations in April of 2022.
Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork stated, “This was a significant year for the Port, not only in terms of recovery from the impact of the pandemic but because of the many strides taken towards our voyage into the future. The completion of CCT represented the first phase of the PoCC’s Strategic Development Plan and capital investment program which will see new cargo handling equipment, an extension of the deep-water berth, and a further extension of CCT over the coming years. Following a strong financial year, we are now in a better position to progress these vital additions to our infrastructure. We look forward very much to the completion of the M28, which, when combined with CCT, will future-proof the Port of Cork to the benefit of the Irish, regional, and local economies.
Conor continued, “In addition, a key objective for us moving forward is a focus on sustainability. We are very well positioned to act as a key hub for Ireland’s move towards offshore renewables and at the same time support the journey to net-zero through our well-developed presence in transition fuels.”
Eoin McGettigan, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Cork Company added, ‘Special mention must be made of the Port of Cork’s incredible team, our clients and our stakeholders. Throughout the challenges brought about by the Pandemic and Brexit, it was their hard work, dedication, loyalty and trust that underpinned this strong performance.”
CCT will allow the port to fully relocate its container business from the current city centre Tivoli location to Ringaskiddy once the M28 is complete and will enable the Port to future-proof Cork as an international gateway for trade.
To view or download a copy of the PoCC Annual Report 2021 visit www.portofcork.ie