Thursday, 3 October 2019

Questions (310, 311)

Michael McGrath

Question:

310. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the truck capacity in each of Dublin, Rosslare, Ringaskiddy and Shannon Foynes ports; the number of trucks processed each day at each port under current circumstances; the number at each port in a no-deal Brexit scenario; the contingency plans at each port to deal with the potential backlog in the event of a no-deal Brexit in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40452/19]

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Michael McGrath

Question:

311. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the container capacity in each of the Dublin, Rosslare, Ringaskiddy and Shannon Foynes ports; the number of containers processed each day at each port under current circumstances; the number at each port in a no-deal Brexit scenario; the contingency plans at each port to deal with the potential backlog in the event of a no-deal Brexit in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40453/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 310 and 311 together.

The CSO publish figures annually for traffic in and out of the ports. These can be found at the following link: www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/spt/statisticsofporttraffic2018/. For ease of reference the relevant tables are attached at Appendix 1.

As you will understand, the number of units can vary greatly from day to day due to seasonal factors or day of the week. Rosslare estimate they handle an average of 330 RoRo units per day.  Dublin Port has an estimated daily average of 2700 RoRo units and 2000 LoLo TEUs. The Port of Cork report a daily move count of 85 LoLo TEUs at their Ringaskiddy Terminal and 850 LoLo TEUs at their facility in Tivoli.  There are 3 RoRo sailings out of Cork every week in the summer season with an average now of 30 RoRo units on each of these sailings. There are 2 RoRo sailings out of Cork during the Winter months with an average of 40 RoRo units per sailing.

Additionally Dublin Port publishes quarterly figures on their website.  These can be accessed at: www.dublinport.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/DPC-Throughput-Statistics-Q2-2019.pdf. For ease of reference the relevant tables are set out at Appendix 2.

Feedback from the Irish ports is that they all have spare capacity.

In relation to contingency plans, the Government has extensive preparations in place for a possible no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019. In its Action Plan published in July 2019, the Government acknowledged that a no deal Brexit will be highly disruptive and will have profound implications across all aspects of society. It will be impossible for the UK to maintain the current seamless arrangements with the EU across the full range of sectors including transport connectivity, trade flows and supply chains. The contingency plans in place, including in the transport sector, will mitigate but cannot eliminate the impacts of a no-deal Brexit.

The re-introduction of customs or border controls as a consequence of Brexit will undoubtedly increase transit times for all traffic travelling via or from the UK to Continental Europe, including for many Irish importers and exporters.

The three locations for which Ireland is heavily dependent on connectivity to the UK are Dublin Port, Dublin Airport and Rosslare Europort.  The Office of Public Works has worked across Government with relevant agencies and Departments in delivering the required facilities for these agriculture, health and customs checks at these locations. Temporary facilities are now in place to meet the needs of these agencies. Additional staffing in Customs, Agriculture and Health have been recruited and trained to provide the necessary support and to manage the efficient movement of freight and people through these locations.  

The necessary associated staffing and IT systems are also in place. Testing of the relevant IT systems is continuing. Communications with stakeholders is ongoing and will continue during October 2019.

Trade between Port of Cork, Shannon Foynes Port Company and UK is more limited and is not exposed to the implications of Brexit in the same way as Dublin Port and Rosslare Europort. However, both ports have also been contingency planning for Brexit, including planning for any opportunities that may arise.  While Shannon Foynes handles no LoLo or RoRo presently, I am aware that as part of their expansion plans and Brexit contingency planning, the Port is currently examining the viability of new direct container services from Foynes to Europe. Opportunities for new routes are also being explored on an ongoing basis by Irish Ports with other European Ports and shipping companies. I am aware also that Port of Cork is also seeking to identify new business opportunities that may flow from Brexit. 

My Department is working closely with other agencies to have appropriate traffic management plans in place in the event that there is significant congestion in Dublin Port that impacts on wider traffic flows in the surrounding Dublin road network.  

A traffic Management Planning Exercise is underway in Rosslare with the State agencies and Wexford County Council and will be finalised for 31st October.

Appendix 1 and 2