The new €86 million Cork container terminal in Ringaskiddy will become operational from Saturday.
The terminal was described by the port on Friday as “a hugely important milestone” that represents the largest single investment in marine infrastructure in its history. It is also the largest investment by any Irish port over the last 100 years.
“The commencement of operations on site has been greatly anticipated by Port of Cork Company and its customers as it will enable us to deliver more efficient container-handling facilities,” said the group.
The port added that the terminal will position it as “an international gateway for trade” into the future. The terminal is also earmarked as a “key enabler for growth”, not only for the port of Cork but for the regional and national economy.
Initially the terminal will handle ICL’s Cork-to-US service as well as Maersk’s weekly Costa Rican service as the port continues the process of relocating its deep-sea transoceanic cargo business there.
Conor Mowlds, chief commercial officer of the Port of Cork Company, said: “This is a proud and monumental milestone for our people and our business. The terminal is the largest investment in our 250-year history.
“It’s a pivotal project in our strategic efforts to enhance and future-proof our offering, which will position Cork as an international gateway for trade.
“As we begin this exciting chapter in our business’s story, we’d like to thank all those who have supported us in reaching this point.”
The port of Cork is the world’s second-largest natural harbour and is a key international gateway for trade. It is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of the three ports of national significance as designated by national ports policy.
As a multi-model port it is only one of two ports in Ireland to service all six shipping modes – l lift-on/lift-off, roll-on/roll-off, liquid bulk, dry bulk, break bulk and cruise.
In 2020, the port reported a traffic throughput of 10.5 million tonnes. Its direct workforce is 150 staff, but it also supports thousands of jobs through indirect employment through warehouses, hauliers and shipping agents.
The port is an important catalyst for trade and employment, offering direct connectivity to a global supply chain, particularly for FDI. About 35 of its top customers are from industries such as medtech, pharma, IT, chemical and agrifood.
They account for €145 billion of manufacturing and support more than 45,000 jobs directly in the southwest region.