Liquid, Dry and Break Bulk

Liquid, Dry & Break Bulk
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Bulk Shipping covers the range of commodities that are shipped in large quantities as it is more economically viable to do so. In the context of cargoes being handled through Ireland, the majority of Irish Ports can facilitate the break bulk sector, with individual ports offering cargo handling facilities for specific types of bulk cargoes.

Bulk cargoes being handled through Irish Ports can be divided into dry, liquid and break bulk. Liquid bulk is the largest commodity Irish ports handle and consists of cargoes such as fuel oils, bitumen, heavy fuel oils and molasses.  Fuel oils imported into Ireland include LPG, LNG and Bio Fuels such as Bio Diesel and Ethanol.

Liquid Bulk Volumes

Different commodity characteristics dictate where they can be discharged or loaded. Dublin Port Company, Drogheda, Galway Harbour Company, Shannon Foynes Port Company, Port of Cork, Port of Waterford, New Ross and Bantry Bay Port handle liquid bulk cargoes. Bantry Bay Port facilities are predominantly involved in the transhipment of four types of liquid bulk cargo, namely aviation fuel, petroleum, kerosene and crude oil.  In recent years, liquid bulk was not as severely affected by the economic downturn as other kinds of traffic. It has increased over the past year, possibly due to low oil prices. A breakdown of the liquid bulk cargo volumes through Irish ports is available below:


Dry Bulk Volumes

The dry bulk sector continues to be the largest bulk segment being handled by Irish ports. Dry bulk volumes in the Republic of Ireland are primarily accounted for by three ports, which make up nearly 82% of the total dry bulk volume: Shannon Foynes, Port of Cork, and Dublin Port Company. Commodities in this segment include animal feed, iron ore, coal, fertilizer, cement, bauxite and alumina. This market segment can be particularly affected by adverse or mild weather conditions during the course of a year.

Break Bulk Volumes

Commodities such as timber, steel products, machinery and general project cargo make up the majority of break bulk cargo moving through Irish ports. The main drivers in this segment’s volumes are construction activities and the delivery of project cargo.  Break bulk volumes in the Republic of Ireland are primarily moved through three ports. These ports handle over 80% of the total break bulk volume in and out of the Republic of Ireland, the ports being Dublin Port Company, Port of Cork and Shannon Foynes Port Company.

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Past quarterly statistical bulletins can be accessed the press release section.