Maritime and shipping statistics

Statistics and data about ports, shipping, sea passengers, waterborne freight and seafarers.

Port and domestic waterborne freight statistics

Port freight covers freight handled by all UK sea ports. Provisional figures are published quarterly, and final annual statistics are published in August.

Domestic waterborne freight are now included in the annual Port freight release. These cover inland waters traffic, traffic carried around the UK coast, one-port traffic to and from offshore installations and sea dredging.

The statistics are based mainly on returns from port operators, shipping lines and agents, and an independent survey of inland waterway operators.

Number of passengers on vessels are available in the sea passenger data collection.

Guidance on current and previous port freight and domestic waterborne freight statistics are available.

Interactive port freight statistics dashboard: explore the data via our dashboard - covering UK major ports from the year 2000 onwards.

Sea passenger statistics

Statistics relating to international and domestic passenger traffic handled at UK ports. Data is published annually, except for international short sea (ferry) passenger totals which are updated monthly in Table SPAS0107.

Passenger vehicle numbers are available in the port freight data collection. See data tables with a cargo breakdown for this information (e.g. tables PORT0201 to PORT0203).

Guidance on current and previous sea passenger statistics are available.

Shipping fleet statistics

Statistics are produced annually, based mainly on DfT analysis of world fleet data provided commercially by IHS Global. Since they are derived from a commercial source, the statistics are not considered to be National Statistics, but they are considered to be of good quality.

Guidance on current and previous shipping fleet statistics are available.

Seafarer statistics

The 2020 publication of the report on seafarers in the UK industry has been delayed to February 2021. This is so that the publication can incorporate methodological improvements to adjust for changes in data coverage in one of the main data sources. Adjusting for non-response in the annual Seafarer Employment Survey conducted by the UK Chamber of Shipping will allow more robust comparisons of year-on-year seafarers trends.

Annual statistics relating to the estimated number of UK seafarers, including some statistics on non-UK seafarers, qualified to serve on UK registered vessels, and indicative projections of the future number of UK certificated officers. Statistics are updated annually and based on a combination of administrative sources and industry surveys.

Guidance on current and previous seafarer statistics are available.

About the maritime and shipping data and reports

Since the shipping fleet statistics are derived from a commercial source outside of the Department for Transport’s control, the statistics are not classed as National Statistics. The department’s view is that all statistics which are not designated as National Statistics are robust and have been produced to a suitable standard.

Published 7 January 2013
Last updated 10 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Port freight quarterly statistics for July to September 2020 added to the collection.

  2. Sea passenger statistics, all routes 2019 report added to collection.

  3. Port freight quarterly statistics for April to June 2020 added to the collection.

  4. Port freight annual statistics for 2019 and interactive dashboard information added to collection.

  5. Port freight quarterly statistics, January to March 2020 added to collection.

  6. Shipping fleet statistics 2019 report added to collection.

  7. Collection page updated for the latest port freight quarterly publication (October to December 2019).

  8. Collection page updated for the latest short sea routes for sea passenger statistics publication.

  9. Collection page updated for the latest port freight quarterly and seafarers publication.

  10. New statistics release added "Sea passenger statistics: all routes 2018 final report".

  11. Added latest publication to collection page: Port freight quarterly statistics: April to June 2019.

  12. Updated for port freight annual statistics: 2018 final figures.

  13. New statistics release published - Port freight quarterly statistics: January to March 2019.

  14. New releases for port freight and shipping fleet statistics published.

  15. Sea passenger statistics 2018 provisional figures for short sea routes published.

  16. New port freight quarterly and seafarers release published.

  17. New sea passenger release published.

  18. New releases published.

  19. New releases published.

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  23. New release published including user consultation.

  24. New sea passenger statistics report published.

  25. New releases published.

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  40. Port freight statistics, April to June 2016 published.

  41. New release published.

  42. New release added.

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  45. New release published.

  46. Latest seafarer statistics published.

  47. Latest port freight statistics published.

  48. First published.