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Larne no longer second-largest freight harbour

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Larne has lost its status as Northern Ireland’s second biggest freight port to Warrenpoint, according to newly-released official figures. The statistics reveal that over the course of 2013, nine per cent of freight moved through Larne, while 11 per cent moved through Warrenpoint.

Meanwhile, 66 per cent of Northern Ireland’s freight passed through Belfast. This contrasts with the figures for 2012, when 12 per cent of freight traffic passed through Larne, with ten per cent for Warrenpoint.

Belfast experienced an 11 per cent increase in tonnage, the joint largest percentage increase in total freight traffic of all UK ports along with Tees and Hartlepool.

The Port of Larne has provided a freight service to Cairnryan for over 30 years. There has been speculation that roadworks linked to the A8 road upgrade scheme are partly to blame for Larne’s decrease in freight trade popularity, as lorry drivers are less keen to navigate the route while it is under construction. The £130 million scheme is currently 75 per cent complete and is expected to open to traffic next spring.