Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, divided by the Republic of Ireland, which covers a large part of the region. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is a developed country with a thriving economy and a reasonably well-developed shipping and maritime transportation industry. Irish ports are essential to the country's import and export trade.

Ireland has many ports and harbors, with 45 seaports handling most of its trade with the outside world. These ports are also significant contributors to the country's GDP, taking more than half of the country's international trade.

Irish ports - Seven significant ports in Ireland

irish ports

Port of Dublin

irish ports Located in Dublin City, it is the largest port in Ireland

The Port of Dublin is located at the mouth of the River Liffey in Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland and handles about 50% of the sea traffic. It has become a renowned tourist destination and a major commercial, financial, and cultural center.

The Port of Dublin handles approximately 7,500 ships, 28,120,000 tons of cargo, 700,000 TEUs, and 1,900,000 passengers annually. In the first half of 2022, the port took 18.6 million tons and 3,964 cargo ships. This represents a 10% increase in cargo throughput at the Port of Dublin compared to 2021.

The Port of Dublin has facilities for handling ro-ro vessels, trailers, containers, break-bulk, dry bulk, liquid bulk, and general cargo. There are 17 routes to the United Kingdom operated by six ferry companies. Major exports include ores, agricultural products, packaged goods, peat moss, industrial products, and whisky. The port receives fuel oil, grain, machinery, coal, chemicals, fertilizers, animal feed, lead, zinc, steel, paper and iron.

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irish ports

Port of Galway

irish ports Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland

The Port of Galway has nine berths with a total quay length of 1,189m and 40 quay berths. The Port Company manages two 8,000m2 warehouses and a 10-acre open space for hire at the Port Enterprise Park. The Central Wharf has a 1,330m2 storage area for logs, timber, and lime.

The Port of Galway has over 300 ships calling each year, carrying approximately 1 million tons of cargo. Major exports include scrap metal and limestone, while imports include petroleum products, bitumen, fish, lignite, chemicals, and steel.

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irish ports

Port of Shannon Foynes

irish ports Shannon Foynes Harbor on the southwest coast of Ireland

Shannon Foynes Harbor. Has six berths: Limerick Wharf, Shannon Airport Wharf, O'Genish Marine Terminal, Foynes, Tarbert Island Wharf, and Moneypoint Marine Terminal. Can berth 180,000 tons of ships, container ships, and tankers.

The Port of Shannon Foynes handles approximately 300 ships and 7,600,000 tons of cargo annually. Major imports include fertilizers, timber, fuel, oil, and conventional cargo, while exports include meat and bulk sugar.

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irish ports

Port of Bantry Bay

irish ports Located in Bantry Bay on the southwest coast of Ireland

Bantry Bay is the largest bay on the southwest coast of Ireland. It is 35 kilometers long, 10 kilometers wide at the entrance to the bay, and as narrow as 3 kilometers near the bay. The harbor of Bantry Bay is located in such a bay.

The Port of Bantry Bay is vital to the regional economy and has many beautiful beaches where people can enjoy surfing. Therefore, as a major trans-shipment port, it serves cruise ships and offers marine recreational activities in its harbor waters.

Fishing is an essential industry for the locals, with abundant herring, whitefish, salmon, lobster, and crabs, making seafood products a vital export for the port. The port handles approximately 1,000,000 tons of cargo per year.

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irish ports

Port of Cork

irish ports Located on the south coast of Ireland

The Port of Cork, situated along the River Lee, is a major seaport on the south coast of Ireland, handling Ro-Ro vessels, bulk carriers, break-bulk carriers, cruise ships, and pilotage services. The port is close to the main shipping routes to Northern Europe and has good cargo handling facilities and capabilities. It is well connected to the Irish interior by road and rail, allowing for fast distribution of goods.

The Port of Cork handles approximately 2,270 ships, 8,900,000 tons of cargo, 147,550 TEUs, and 53 cruise ships carrying 100,000 passengers annually. The port exports dairy products such as milk powder and butter, fertilizers, ammonia, urea, wood chips, livestock, and refined and unrefined petroleum products. Imports include grains, animal feed, fruits, perishables such as molasses, automobiles, cement, coal, steel plates, logs, manganese and its ores, acids, chemicals, etc.

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irish ports

Port of Drogheda

irish ports It is located in an industrial area on the east coast of Ireland and close to Dublin.

Drogheda is a crucial intermodal port on the Boyne River, just 4.5 nautical miles from the sea. It has facilities for handling general cargo, containers, paper, wood, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), steel, grain, fertilizers, oil, and more.

Another advantage of the port is the direct access to Ireland's industrial and commercial districts via highway. Its location on the east coast makes it the perfect dock for trade with Europe, the Baltic States, and Scandinavian countries.

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irish ports

Port of Waterford

irish ports Located at the southeast tip of Ireland, it is the closest Irish port to Europe

Waterford Harbour is a natural deep harbor on the River Suir, just 14 nautical miles from the sea. It has a mooring area on the river's north bank, while the container terminal is located in Belle Vue, about three nautical miles from the main harbor. Dunmore East provides an anchorage for passenger and cruise ships and a storage area for a wide range of goods.

The port exports agricultural products, manufactured goods, and packaged foods. It imports grains, cereals, fertilizers, steel, paper, and logs. Imports have increased and diversified over the past few years as it handles packaged meats, limestone, fruits, and peat moss. It takes about 820 ships, 2,600,000 tons of cargo, 186,100 TEUs, and 20,000 passengers annually.

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What is the process of cargo transportation for shipping to Irish ports?

The Irish port cargo transportation process generally includes the following steps:

  1. Preparation of goods: Prepare all necessary documents and certificates, including packing lists, invoices, certificates of origin, etc., by local customs regulations.

  2. Choose a reliable and professional freight forwarder: Choose a trusted shipping company or freight forwarder and confirm the best shipping schedule, freight rates, and other information.

  3. Booking: Booking with the shipping company or the forwarder to ensure that the goods can be loaded on time and there will be no delay in transportation due to the unavailability of container numbers.

  4. Ship out: The goods are loaded into containers and shipped by sea from departure ports to Ireland.

  5. Prepare customs clearance information in advance: When transporting goods, prepare all kinds of documents and papers required for the import of Ireland, such as bills of lading, insurance policies, packing lists, commercial invoices, etc.

  6. Cargo arrives at the port of destination: Once the vessel arrives at Irish ports, the logistics company or freight forwarder will arrange for the container to be received, and an initial inspection will be carried out.

  7. Import declaration: Submit the relevant documents to Irish Customs for import declaration. At this point, import duties and taxes may need to be paid.

  8. Inspection and Random Inspection: Customs officials may conduct random spot checks on goods to confirm the accuracy of declared information.

  9. Payment of Customs Clearance Fees: Based on the results of the customs declaration, the appropriate customs clearance fees are paid. If there are any penalties or additional costs, they are also settled at this stage.

  10. Pickup and Delivery: After getting the customs clearance release order, you can pick up the goods and arrange land transportation to the designated address. Some logistics companies will provide door-to-door service.

The above process is for reference only; the specific Irish port cargo transportation process may vary due to exceptional circumstances.

What factors affect cargo transportation in Irish ports

The main factors affecting the transportation of goods in Irish ports include:

  • Weather factors: Adverse weather conditions, such as storms and heavy waves, may affect the speed of the ship's operation and the replenishment time, resulting in longer transportation times.

  • Route conditions: The routes in Ireland may be indirect, and ships need to pass through ports in other countries on the way. The efficiency of the ship's voyage may vary depending on the season, climate, and other natural conditions.

  • Characteristics of cargo: Different types and natures require different transportation times and modes. For example, fragile goods require special handling and must be specially placed in the hold.

  • Port facilities: Facilities and equipment at Irish ports can also affect the efficiency of cargo transportation, with some small ports needing more facilities that may increase the time and cost of goods at the port.

  • Trade policy: Ireland's trade policy is subject to change, e.g., tariffs, taxes, trade agreements, etc. These changes may affect goods' import, export, and transportation costs.

To reduce the influence of these factors, cargo owners and logistics companies should know the maritime weather conditions in advance and choose the best transportation plan according to the weather forecast. At the same time, logistics companies also need to categorize and manage different kinds of goods and develop corresponding transportation schemes and operation procedures. In addition, choosing excellent shipping companies and agents and strengthening communication and coordination with governments and logistics companies are also necessary to reduce uncertainty.

How do you choose the most suitable port for shipping to Ireland?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the most suitable port for shipping to Ireland; here are some suggestions to help you choose the most convenient port:

  • Understanding the nature of cargo and transportation requirements: The nature of cargo and transportation requirements are essential factors in the selection of a port. For example, if the goods need to arrive quickly, you can choose a port closer to the destination; if the goods have particular transportation time and temperature requirements, you must select a port with complete facilities.

  • Compare shipping methods and costs of different ports: Shipping methods and fees vary from port to port. You can compare other ports' freight, insurance, tax, etc., and choose the most cost-effective port.

  • Understanding port facilities and logistics services: Port facilities and logistics services are also essential in choosing a port. When your goods are over-weight or over-size, you can learn about the port's loading and unloading equipment, warehousing facilities, and logistics services to select a port that can meet your needs.

Why choose Jike Logistics as your freight forwarder for shipping from China to Irish ports?

jike logistics

  • Professional service team: Jike Logistics has a professional service team with 42% of our staff having more than ten years of shipping experience between China and Ireland.  We have professional knowledge to provide customers with high-quality services.

  • Customized Solutions: Jike Logistics knows that every shipment is unique, so we optimize the best transportation solutions to meet the individual needs of their customers.

  • Cost-effective: Jike Logistics has contracts with major airlines and shipowners, which can offer competitive pricing without sacrificing quality of service, helping customers optimize transportation costs.

  • Superior service quality: Jike Logistics focuses on service quality and ensures the highest quality at every process step through a strict quality control system. If you send us an inquiry, Jike will reply to you in 8 hours.

By working with Jike Logistics, you can leave the logistics to us and focus on your core business. Jike Logistics' team of professionals will provide quality logistics services to ensure your shipments arrive at their destination safely and on time, saving you time and energy.

FAQs - Irish ports

How long does shipping a container to Irish ports usually take?

The time it takes to ship a container to an Irish port depends on several factors, including the mode of transportation (e.g., sea, road, etc.), the distance traveled, and how busy the port is. For shipping from China to Irish ports, it will take around 30-45 days.

Should I buy cargo insurance for shipments to Irish ports?

Cargo insurance is recommended. Purchasing cargo insurance can reduce transportation risks for high-value or fragile goods. In addition, if the destination country has explicit requirements for cargo insurance, it is also necessary to purchase appropriate insurance.

Why is Dublin Port important?

Dublin Port is one of the largest Irish ports, and its geographic location makes it an important node connecting the Irish Sea Islands with other international ports. In addition, the Port of Dublin has advanced ship-handling and logistics facilities, which provide fast and safe transportation of goods.

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