Dublin Port Company is the port authority governing Dublin Port. It is a self-financing private company owned by the State. Established in 1997, Dublin Port Company manages, controls, operates, and develops the port. In the heart of the City of Dublin, Dublin Port is at the nexus of road and rail networks. It handles more than two-thirds of Ireland’s container traffic and half of the country’s exports and imports. More than 1.3 million tourists pass through Dublin Port each year through ferries and cruise vessels. In 2007, All Ireland Transport and Logistics Awards named Dublin Port the Port of the Year for its efficient and comprehensive services and facilities.
In 1996, over 15 million tons of cargo passed through Dublin Port. By 2007, this traffic more than doubled to 31 million tons, including 733 thousand tons of roll-on/roll-off cargo, 744 thousand tons of containerized cargo (675 thousand TEUs), 4.1 million tons of liquid bulk, 2.5 million tons of dry bulk, 70 thousand tons of breakbulk, 141 thousand tons of trade cars, and 271 thousand tons of tourist cars. In 2006, 75 cruise liners anchored and 1.3 million passengers embarked or disembarked in Dublin Port.
The Dublin Port harbor can support vessels drawing to 10.2 meters at high water and 7 meters at any tide. Roll-on/roll-off and lift-on/lift-off and containerized cargo are handled at three terminals operated by Dublin Ferryport Terminals, Marine Terminals Ltd., and Portroe Stevedores.
Dublin Port has a 41-hectare oil zone with capacity to store 330 thousand tons. The oil zone is linked to four oil berths handling oil, molasses, bitumen, liquid petroleum gases, and chemicals. Dry bulk facilities handle grain, animal feeds, coal, fertilizers, lead and zinc concentrate, and furnace slag cement fines. The ship-loading facility connects storage sheds at Alexandra Terminals with vessels berthed at the Dry Bulk Jetty in Alexandra Basin. Private storage facilities can accommodate 100 thousand tons of grain and feed. Breakbulk is a very small part of the total cargo handled through Dublin Port, and facilities devoted to these cargoes (primarily newsprint and linerboard) are located on the north side of the Port.
Ireland’s most popular cruise destination, Dublin Port welcomed 75 cruise vessels in 2006. Large ships berth at the Alexandra Quay just two kilometers from the city center, and smaller vessels can come to Dublin Port’s city center up the River Liffey.
Dublin Port also contains areas that are open to the general public. Bull Island, with almost six kilometers of beach, two golf courses, and a world-famous bird sanctuary, was created when the Port’s two walls were built.