National Statistics

Port freight statistics: provisional annual 2012

This publication presents provisional annual summary statistics on freight handled by UK sea ports.


Port freight statistics: provisional annual 2012

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Key tables are updated provisionally in June. Detailed final annual statistics will be published in September.

Key points:

Port Freight Traffic (tonnage)

  • Total freight traffic for all ports in the UK decreased to 501.2 million tonnes, a 4% decline compared to 2011.

  • Major UK ports handled 489.8 million tonnes, a drop of 3% in comparison to 2011.

  • Minor ports tonnage decreased by 9% compared to 2011, down to 11.4 million tonnes.

  • Northern Ireland was the only country to see a slight year on year increase with tonnage rising to 23.5 million tonnes in 2012.

Unitised Traffic through Major Ports

  • Units handled by UK major ports fell for the second year running to 20.8 million units, a 3% decrease since 2011.

  • Scotland was the only country to have an increase in the number of units, increasing by 3 per cent to a total of 1.2 million units.

  • Dover remained the busiest major port in terms of unitised traffic, handling 4.3 million units.

Technical information

Information on port freight statistics, including the pre-release access list and related technical documentation can be found in the guidance.

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Maritime and shipping statistics

Published 26 June 2013