Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
The Port of Cork reported on 27 January that the combined total traffic through both the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port Company took a dip of 5% from 10.6 million tonnes, to just over 10 million tonnes in 2019. The cause for this minor decline is attributed to less volumes of dry bulk cargo through the port. Overall total imports decreased by 7% while exports decreased by 3%.
Cork Container Terminal
A key area, particularly for the Port of Cork as they look to complete and open Cork Container Terminal in 2020, was the continued increase in container or LoLo traffic in 2019. Over 240,000 TEUS were handled in 2019, a 5% increase on the previous year.
Brendan Keating, Port of Cork Chief Executive said: ‘2020 will be a significant year for the Port of Cork as we prepare to complete and open the €86 million Cork Container Terminal development in Ringaskiddy, so seeing continued growth in container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy is very encouraging.’
He continued: ‘Once operational the new terminal will enable the port to handle up to 450,000 TEU per annum. We already possess significant natural depth in Cork harbour, and our work in Ringaskiddy Port will enable us to accommodate vessels of 5500 to 6000 TEU, which will provide us with a great deal of additional potential for increasing container traffic.’
In 2019 oil traffic handled through Whitegate Oil Refinery owned by Canadian company Irving Oil, saw a decrease of 9% partially due to a planned maintenance shut down in August.
One hundred cruise liners
In 2019 the Port of Cork handled 100 cruise liners bringing over 243,000 passengers and crew to the region, while Bantry Bay Port Company welcomed ten cruise liners to the harbour town. In 2020 a record 102 cruise ships are scheduled to call between March and December.
The Port of Cork jointly with Lanber Holdings purchased Marino Point in 2017 and following consultation with Belvelly Marino Development Company, stakeholders, residents and a design team, the Belvelly Port Facility Masterplan was developed. The masterplan sets out the strategic approach of Belvelly Marino Development Company and is a guide to the future development of Belvelly Port Facility. It is envisaged that Marino Point will be developed to accommodate a range of industrial and port related activities and could become a dynamic industrial hub for the area, thus creating employment.
Project Ireland 2040
Brendan Keating added in conclusion: ‘As part of the Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework, one of the key future growth enablers for Cork is to deliver large scale regeneration projects for the provision of new employment and supporting infrastructure in Cork Docklands, as integrated, sustainable developments, including relocation of sites from the City Docks. Belvelly Port Facility has been identified to enable this type of growth.’
Seafarers UK is a charity that has been helping those in the maritime community for over 100 years, by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.
This aid has been achieved by grants to organisations and projects across the Merchant Navy, the Fishing Fleets, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
In 2019 Seafarers UK awarded 53 grants totalling £2.2m to 43 maritime welfare charities.
On 3 April Seafarers UK made an open appeal on the world wide web to draw attention to the unprecedented times when the effects of COVID-19 are being felt all over the world with the seafaring community being no exception.
As an island nation, the UK is particularly dependent on its seafarers to keep the UK supplied with food, medicine, fuel and other essential supplies. As such, the Government has acknowledged the importance of those who work in the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic and has officially designated seafarers as key workers.
As the world fights the Coronavirus pandemic seafarers are silently playing a vital role in keeping the nation afloat, under extremely challenging and unpredictable conditions.
On 2 April cruise ships Zaandam and Rotterdam disembarked more than 1,200 passengers in Port Everglades, Florida. These developments, combined with one remaining disembarkation being coordinated, represents the processing of more than 120 vessels in the last three weeks to remove 250,000 passengers from cruise ships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was reported by USCG HQ Media service from Washington.
US Coast Guard, under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working with Department of Homeland Security partners Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as well as state and local entities from multiple port jurisdictions, facilitated the safe landing, screening, quarantine and repatriation of these passengers in a manner that has prevented further spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many passengers were brought to safe harbour in the United States when international ports refused entry.