New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the amount of goods handled in Irish ports last year was flat at 45.1 million tonnes.
The figures showed that goods received fell by 2.8% compared to 2012, while foods forwarded rose by 6.1%.
The CSO noted that foods forwarded, at over 15 million tonnes, are the highest on record.
The number of vessels arriving at Irish ports last year fell by 9.4% to 12,059 from 13,311.
The Dublin-Holyhead route was the single most important route in terms of tonnage handled as it accounted for over 8% of all goods received and 12.2% of all tonnes forwarded.
The figures show that dry bulk traffic rose by 3.7% last year, while break bulk and other goods traffic increased by 6.7%. Roll on/roll off traffic fell by 1.6% in the year, while lift-on/lift-off traffic and liquid bulk traffic fell by 2.3% and 1.8% respectively.