This publication presents provisional summary statistics on freight handled by major UK ports, updated quarterly.
Provisional annual statistics are updated in June and detailed final annual statistics are published in September.
In 2012, total major port traffic (tonnage) has fallen by 3% compared to 2011, following two consecutive years of slight growth. The total major port traffic (tonnage) in 2012 was 490 million tonnes, similar to levels seen in 2009 but 14% lower than the peak in 2005.
Between 2000 and 2007, there was an upwards trend in unitised traffic at UK major ports. Since 2007, the trend has been downwards and the number of units handled during 2012 (20,632 thousands) are at levels seen in 2000.
During quarter 4 2012, total port traffic (tonnage) was 119 million tonnes, a decline of 6% compared with quarter 4 2011 (127 million tonnes). This continues the decline seen during the previous quarters of 2012. The decline in quarter 4 is the largest quarter on quarter fall seen during 2012.
The number of units of all types handled during quarter 4 2012 was 4,735 thousand units, down by 3% compared with quarter 4 2011 (4,902 thousand units).
Information on port freight statistics, including the pre-release access list, and related technical documentation can be found here
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