Thursday, 3 March 2022
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
21. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to delays and congestion problems at the port of Cork, Tivoli; when the new port terminal in Ringaskiddy is due to open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12108/22]
The Port of Cork is connected to a number of European container hub ports, such as Rotterdam, Antwerp and Dunkirk. Hub ports accommodate very large container vessels that trade on intercontinental trade routes, operated by global shipping lines. The majority of LoLo services to and from the port of Cork link direct to European Hub ports via smaller container vessels (feeder vessels) with seven such services currently trading between Tivoli and Hub ports in the UK and the EU.
Due to disruptions to global supply chains primarily as a result of COVID, European Ports have been prioritizing large intercontinental container vessels, with much less prioritization of the smaller “feeder” vessels that serve other ports such as Cork. This has resulted in peaks and troughs in cargo flows to the Port of Cork, resulting in port users leaving their cargo in Tivoli for longer periods than normal.
I understand from the Port of Cork Company that this, in addition to the recent spate of storms that crossed the country have led to delays in their ship operations at the Tivoli docks. The Company has put additional resources in Tivoli to alleviate these difficulties. In addition, underpinning cargo operations, the Company also operates an automated vehicle booking system for hauliers to manage waiting times and reduce delays at the terminal.
The development at Ringaskiddy will see the port over time relocate its business from the current city centre Tivoli location and the City Quays to a new facility known as Cork Container Terminal (CCT). The construction work is complete with commissioning works currently underway and the facility is expected to be operational in Quarter 2, 2022. This will bring additional LoLo capacity on stream, easing congestion at Tivoli. Ringaskiddy will future proof the Port as an international gateway for trade and will allow the Port to continue to meet the needs of its customers and the economic developmental needs locally and at regional and national level. Due to planning conditions, the continued operation of Tivoli terminal to accommodate a percentage of the current and future LoLo trade to Cork will be necessary until the M28 dual carriageway is completed.