New Long-Term Expansion Planned for Ireland’s Largest Container Terminal

The Dublin Port has drastically increased its activity over the last several years as more and more cargo is moving in and out of Ireland. As a result, necessary expansions to the country’s ports are taking place, and they are expected to be complete by the year 2040. In preparation for future projected cargo activity, the Dublin Port Company is expanding its operation by constructing the largest container terminal in Ireland. $450 million and nine years later, they expect to expand the capacity by nearly 20 percent.

Port infrastructure is expensive and slow moving – I think we have all gotten a glimpse of that over the last several years. There are no “quick changes” on an infrastructure scale that can make any significant difference to the capacity of a port. The Dublin Port is a testament to that.

Construction for the Masterplan 2040 (Ireland’s container terminal expansion effort) began in 2010 and is taking a full three decades to complete. Of course, infrastructure changes in ports are not easy to make. Unlike road construction, which only creates temporary traffic at specific times of the day, port construction can create massive bottlenecks that completely inhibit the port’s ability to move inbound cargo through itself. As a result, it’s painfully slow, expensive, and only little bits are done at a time. This is one of the several reasons the port expansion effort is taking so long.

The new container terminal being built will have a total capacity of 612,000 TEU’s annually, which is double the number of containers handled in all other Irish ports last year. Revisions to the existing container terminal will be made to create a Ro-Ro (roll-on/roll-off) freight terminal that will increase capacity to 288,000 trailers annually. Lastly, a 1,000 ft. turning basin will be added to the Dublin Port.

Over the last 10 years, the Dublin Port has seen an increase of 44% in container volume handled, and the Lo-Lo (lift-on/lift-off) operations have seen an increase of 37% growth. The Masterplan 2040 is aiming to allow a total of 3.1 million trailers and containers of throughput at the port by the year 2040.

However, simply improving infrastructure at the port doesn’t address bottlenecks faced during inland transit. As a result, the plan is calling for a new road and bridge to be constructed across the River Liffey, which would alleviate truck traffic from the local city roads and increase the efficiency and capacity for pedestrians, cycles, and public transit.

While the infrastructure improvements have been going on for several decades, the newest revisions are being filed in a planning application in 2023, with the expectation of approval by 2024 so construction can begin by 2026. The project timeline is currently broken into phases that will be completed between 2030-2035.

Please reach to our team at InterlogUSA for more information or questions you have regarding your shipping situation.

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