Dublin Port Company


Dublin Port Company


Ireland’s Premier Port

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland’s premier port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers. The company currently employs 144 staff.


Accommodation Near Dublin Port

Located in the heart of Dublin City, at the hub of the national road and rail network Dublin Port is a key strategic access point for Ireland and in particular the Dublin area.

Dublin Port handles almost 50% of the Republic’s trade, two thirds of all containerised trade and is the largest of the three base ports on the island of Ireland, the others being Belfast and Cork. Base ports offer multi-modal services with connections to transhipment ports such as Rotterdam and are important strategic trading hubs.

Dublin Port also handles over 1.76 million tourists through the ferry companies operating at the port and through the cruise vessels calling to the port.

Not only does Dublin Port Company compete with other ports on the island of Ireland but, perhaps more importantly, it also operates a competitive business model within the Port itself where eight terminals compete for business in the unitised sector. Unitised trade is comprised of Lo-Lo and Ro-Ro and accounts for over 80% of Dublin Port’s trade.

Dublin Port Company is well positioned financially and operationally to build on its many successes to date. Resources are in place to fund further development of the Port’s expansion plans without recourse to Exchequer funding, a key tenet of the national ports policy. With trade levels beginning to show signs of recovery, Dublin Port will remain a hugely positive force driving competitiveness, facilitating trade and generating economic growth well into the future.


Dublin Port, as an organisation, has a long and remarkable history, dating back 300 years from 1707 to 2007. There have been many famous moments and famous visitors in that time Captain William Bligh’s (of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame) involvement in the Port in 1800 has left a lasting legacy.

Bligh conducted a study of the tidal flows in Dublin Bay, which led to the construction of the Great South Wall. This construction has resulted in the formation of the present Bull Island, which did not exist in 1800.

Another famous person, involved in the development of the Port was the famous Port engineer Bindon Blood Stoney. He designed the diving bell now located on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, which was used in the construction of the North Wall Extension.

Tourism in Dublin Port

From a tourism point of view, the 1.7 million ferry and cruise passengers that pass through the Port every year bring considerable revenues to all facets of the Irish economy. In addition, the rising throughput at Dublin Port is good news for the economy as a whole, generating employment and economic activity both for the surrounding areas and for all the businesses and communities that depend on the efficient service that the Port provides.
Dublin is Ireland’s most popular port with cruise liners. The cruise liner industry at Dublin Port has continues to grow with 88 cruise liners hosted during the 2010 cruise season. These liners carried in excess of 65,000 high-spend passengers and 28,000 crew members. Dublin Port Company’s work in promoting Dublin as a leading cruise destination has generated a major cash boost of between €35 million and €50 million for the local economy through direct and indirect spend.

This steady rise in income for the economy generated by the cruise sector is offsetting the relative decline in ferry passenger numbers caused by increased competition from the low-fares airlines. However, it must be noted that ferry passengers not only stay longer, but also travel far further into the country; with a resulting higher spend on regional tourism attractions, particularly in the West of the country.

These visitors, along with passengers on cruise liners, are hugely valuable to Ireland’s tourist industry and demonstrate that Dublin Port is a crucial destination for both freight and passenger traffic.

  • Dublin Port is Ireland’s busiest passenger ferryport with up to 15 sailings daily to the UK .
  • Dublin Port Company has developed Terminal buildings and facilities for ferries to the highest industry standard, to ensure trouble free travel.

Dublin Port Facilities

In 1996, throughput at the Port was just over 15 million tonnes. Fifteen years on, this has risen to 28.1m tonnes in 2010. This increase, the culmination of fifteen years growth, demonstrates the significant progress that Dublin Port Company in ensuring the Port and its facilities can keep pace with this significant growth.

This growth has been delivered across the board, in both Lift-on/Lift-off (Lo-Lo) and Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro). There has also been significant growth in the number of passengers passing through the Port.

Last year, a total of 85 cruise liners visited the city of Dublin through Dublin Port, bringing up to €50 million into the economy in the process. It is worth noting the foresight of Dublin Port’s management team of the potential this trade would have on the Irish economy. As a result they spearheaded the creation of Cruise Ireland and the results are clear for all to see.

Port Facilities & Services Limits of Dublin Port

Under the 1996 Harbours Act the limits of Dublin Port consist of the waters of the River Liffey commencing from and including Rory O’Moore Bridge and extending to an imaginary straight line drawn from the Baily Lighthouse on the north in the County of Dublin and extending through the North Burford Buoy and thence through the South Burford Buoy and thence to Sorrento Point on the south including all bays, creeks, harbours and all tidal docks within such area.


For information on anchoring positions please refer to the admiralty chart No. 1415. Anchorage is position 53′n 21, 6′w 12,sand over stiff marl. This anchorage is very exposed and a vessel should be  prepared to leave at the first sign of a shift of Wind E.

Approach and Berthage

The approach to the harbour of Dublin is well lighted and of easy access. There is a channel across the Bar which is 7.8m below LAT. Vessels drawing up to 10.2m can enter the port at high water of normal tides. Vessels drawing up to 7m can enter at any state of tide. Vessels proceeding to the Dublin Bay Buoy, which is a Roundabout Buoy to be passed on the vessel’s port side, should proceed through the Traffic Separation Scheme which was introduced during 1997. The scheme comprises of two elements, an inward lane and outward lane at North Burford and South Burford. For larger craft this is the only access to Dublin Port.


  • Mean H.W. Springs Dublin Bar 4.1m.
  • Mean H.W. Neaps, 3.4m.
  • Prevailing winds are S.W.
  • All depths refer to the Lowest Astronomical Tide. This level is defined as ‘the lowest level which can be expected to occur under average meteorological conditions and under any combination of astronomical conditions.’
  • This datum is referred to as L.A.T. and 2.51m below Ordnance Datum Malin Head.

Verification of Depths

All berth, channel and bar depths given hereunder are standard Lowest Astronomical Tide (L.A.T.) maintenance depths, which are liable to reduction through silting or other causes. Verification of depths in the port should, therefore, be obtained from the

Harbour Master’s Department,
Dublin Port Company,
Port Operations Centre,
Breakwater Road, Dublin 1.
Tel: (01) 887 6000

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