A new inland port for Dublin is to open early next month, Dublin Port Company has confirmed.

The 44-hectare site, located close to St Margaret's in north Dublin, is 14 kilometres from the Port, but has direct access via the Dublin Port Tunnel.

It is also close to the airport, as well as to the M1 and M50 motorways.

DPC has invested €48 million to date in acquiring and developing the site which it says will facilitate the relocation of non-core activities from within the Port, thus freeing up space.

The initial aim of the operation is to divert heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) dropping off or collecting empty containers from Dublin Port.

That in turn will help to maximise the use of existing port lands.

Dublin Ferryport Terminals (DFT) will be the first company to begin operating at the facility from early November.

It has signed a 20-year lease with DPC to run a new five-hectare empty container depot at the facility.

It is estimated that the move will enable DFT, as the operator of one of the country's largest container terminals, to increase its total throughput handling capacity at Dublin Port by 20%.

DFT - which is owned by Irish Continental Group (ICG) - is also the operator of one of Dublin Port's three container terminals, identifiable by its red cranes.

"To meet growing customer demand for our Lo-Lo (lift on, lift off) freight handling services, we need to be able to move containers through the DFT terminal at Dublin Port in greater numbers than before, and more frequently. Dublin Inland Port will give us the flexibility, and much needed additional capacity to do that," Declan Freeman, Managing Director of ICG’s Container and Terminal Division said.

Cormac Kennedy, Head of Property, Dublin Port Company said the location of the depot was chosen for its proximity and ease of access to the Port.

"The current phase at Dublin Inland Port is capable of accommodating up to 6,000 shipping containers at any one time when fully operational, in an area the same size as Merrion Square," he explained.

"Other shipping and logistics operators will join DFT at the facility as DPC continues to maximise the capacity of Dublin Port’s existing footprint to meet national port capacity requirements in the period of Masterplan 2040," he added.