A report from the Competition Authority has found competition for load-on/load-off services in Dublin Port appears to be restricted.
This could have an effect on the price of exporting and importing goods.
The report commissioned by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, expresses concern that competition may be restricted due to the length of leases given to two terminal services operators and the licensing of stevedore services.
Two load-on/load-off terminal service providers have 85 and 110 years respectively left to run in their leases.
A stevedore company, which provides the same service, has a 20-year licence, renewable every 20 years if conditions are met.
The report states that this could lead to higher charges and an inferior level of service.
It also finds that two stevedore companies have effective monopolies in the port in that they operate separately on the north and south sides of the facility.
It also finds that competition between Irish ports appears limited.
The report recommends reducing the duration of leases and amending stevedore licences to allow for new entrants at all ports.
It specifically recommends that two new stevedore licences be issued for Dublin Port.