Brexit has accelerated the pace of change at Dublin Port.

The port will reach its maximum capacity of 77 million tonnes throughput per annum by 2040.

Prior to Brexit, a masterplan strategy was already under way to free up land within the main port, by encouraging non-core uses, particularly container storage, to locate at the inland site.

Brexit, however, has changed the pattern of operations and whereas two thirds of Irish business was with the UK, and the other third with mainland Europe, that balance has already shifted to 52pc with the UK.

The impact for the port is that whilst UK cargo is significantly “driver accompanied” and is driven out of the port on arrival, most European traffic is unaccompanied “load on/load off” where containers are left on the quayside for longer and devour valuable yard space.

Phase 1 of the 43 hectare (106 acre) ”Dublin Inland Port,” located on the M50/M2 Junction ear Dublin Airport opened this year. The first letting was to Dublin Ferryport Terminals who occupy 5.5 ha who store, refurbish and transport empty containers for logistics customers.

This facility is so busy that the Port Company is releasing a further 3.2 hectares of yard space to lease to an existing port container operator.

To better manage throughput at the main port, the company intends to reduce the number of free days a container can remain in the port, from the current four days, to three next year, and two the following year.

The company also intends to develop facilities for “laden containers” at the inland port and to encourage hauliers to deposit laden containers there during their off-peak weekend or night times, for onward transport later.

It is envisaged that driven mostly by population growth, a second, freight led port will be needed on the east coast post-2040