PORT of Cork CEO Brendan Keating has warned that investment in shipping infrastructure is key to offsetting the effects of Brexit in the southern region of the country.
Mr Keating told the Construction Industry Federation Southern Construct conference that the Port, which had a €35.4 million turnover in 2018, will be hit by Brexit with decreased agricultural activity projected and a reduction of dry bulk goods being shipped and must adapt to new trends in international shipping.
“The region is highly dependent on international growth in the achievement of economic growth and highly dependent on international shipping,” Mr Keating said.
“We must continue to invest in port infrastructure,” he added.
He explained that the Port of Cork must be flexible and adjustable to international trading patterns and investment in infrastructure to facilitate this will be vital.
Last year, the Port of Cork Company commenced the €86 million Ringaskiddy Port Redevelopment project in the lower harbour which aims to future-proof the Port of Cork Company as an international gateway for trade.
The development aims to increase the Port’s container capacity to 350,000 units annually by developing a major new port terminal and an extension of the deepwater berth.
Mr Keating said the soon to be vacated by the Port of Cork Tivoli docklands represents a “huge opportunity” for growth and prosperity in the Cork region with the city centre expected to expand into this area.
He also highlighted the growth of the cruise ship industry in the county as an area where the Port has diversified.
The combined traffic of both the Ports of Cork and Bantry increased to 10.66 million tonnes in 2018 up from 10.3 million tonnes in 2017, an increase of 3% due to increased bulk cargo activity as result of the 2018 fodder crisis and increased container traffic at Tivoli.