The Port of Cork Gears Up for Record-Breaking 2024 Car Shipment

The Port of Cork Company is set to welcome a 60% surge in car trade volumes with approximately 8,000 brand-new vehicles arriving in Cork this January. This significant increase is attributed to soaring demand, signalling enhanced consumer confidence in the car trade market

To accommodate the increased volume of cars, the port, which usually welcomes an average of 5,000 trade cars at this time of year, has strategically allocated a new storage facility at Paddy’s Point in Ringaskiddy for the first time. The current storage facility at Ringaskiddy has reached its capacity and so this temporary expansion is required to ensure the smooth and efficient handling of this substantial shipment.


The new cars will be filtering in on various vessels before making their way to dealerships around the country. Just under 3,000 cars arrived this past weekend on two different vessels, primarily made up of Volkswagen, Audi, Cupra, Seat and Skoda models. The key shipping customers facilitating this operation include OGMA, Euromed Ireland Logistics Ltd. (EMIL), National Vehicle Distribution (NVD), Mainport, Doyle Shipping Group and the Grimaldi Group.


Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork Company stated, “The substantial increase in car shipments is a testament to the robust demand in the automotive industry. The Port of Cork’s strategic position as a key gateway for trade continues to play a vital role in facilitating the growth of commerce in the region. This surge not only highlights the resilience of Cork’s trade infrastructure but also underscores the economic vitality of the region. The increased activity is expected to boost trade and create positive ripple effects across various sectors. It is especially promising to see more and more EVs entering the Irish market.” 


To accommodate an expected future demand, in December 2023, the Port of Cork Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NVD and EMIL, to explore the development of a new multi-story car storage facility at Ringaskiddy, that could store up to 6,000 cars at a time and reduce the current on-dock footprint.


Mr Mowlds continued, “The increase in car volumes in one year alone demonstrates the requirement for a new permanent multi-story car storage facility at Ringaskiddy. We expect approximately 50,000 trade cars to pass through the port this year, which is forecast to increase further as the population rises. We are currently exploring the viability of a more sustainable solution with our partners NVD and Euromed Ireland to facilitate this growth.”


Andrew Boland, Managing Director of National Vehicle Distribution stated, “This surge in car shipments is not only a positive story for the Port of Cork, but also a promising signal for the local and regional economy. The thriving trade car market reinforces the port’s status as a vital hub for economic activity and signals a promising start to the New Year for Cork’s trade industry.”


Three more Grimaldi vessels are expected to arrive to the Port of Cork between now and the start of February. For further information on the Port of Cork Company and to view the shipping schedule, please visit

About Port of Cork Company

The Port of Cork is the world’s second-largest natural harbour and a key international trade gateway. It is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of the three Ports of National Significance (Tier 1) as designated by National Ports Policy.

The National Ports Policy mandates Tier 1 Ports to lead the response in meeting Ireland’s future port capacity requirements. In this capacity, the port is also central to the national economic growth given that national ports handle approximately 90% of all imported and exported tonnage in Ireland.

As a multi-model port it is only one of two ports in Ireland to service all six shipping modes – lift on/ lift off, roll-on/ roll-off, liquid bulk, dry bulk, break bulk and cruise.

The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) is a commercial semi-state company responsible for the broad range of commercial running of Cork harbour as well as the navigation and berthage in the port.

In 2022, the Ports of Cork and Bantry reported a total consolidated traffic throughput of 10.2 million tonnes. The PoCC’s direct workforce is 170 staff, however, it supports thousands of jobs through indirect employment through warehouses, hauliers and shipping agents.

PoCC is a hugely important catalyst for trade and employment, offering direct connectivity to a global supply chain, particularly for FDI. 35 of its top customers are from industries such as Med-Tec, Pharma, IT, chemical and Agri-Food accounting for €145 billion of manufacturing and supporting over 45,000 jobs directly in the southwest region.

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