Ports traffic

The Department for Transport (DfT) collects and publishes statistics about passenger and freight traffic through the ports of the UK.

Headline results

The most recent DfT statistics relate to ports traffic in 2017 and were published 19th December 2018. The most recent DfT statistics show that:

  • The total tonnage through Northern Ireland (NI) ports in 2017 was 27.1 million tonnes, an increase of 2.2% compared to 26.6 million tonnes the previous year.  Total freight traffic through United Kingdom (UK) ports in 2017 was 481.8 million tonnes, compared to 484.0 million tonnes the previous year, a decrease of 0.5%.
  • Over the year in NI, the total tonnage of inward traffic increased by 1.0% to 16.6 million tonnes, and outward traffic increased by 4.1% to 10.5 million tonnes.  For the UK as a whole, the volume of inward traffic for 2017 decreased by 0.7% to 300.9 million tonnes and outward traffic remained at 180.9 million tonnes.
  • The majority of total NI traffic came through the Belfast Port (67%), while Warrenpoint accounted for the second highest level of total traffic (12%), followed by 11% through the Port of Larne.  The most popular UK port was Grimsby & Immingham, which handled 11% of total UK port traffic in 2017.
  • A total of 846,030 road goods vehicles passed through Northern Ireland ports in 2017 – an increase of 1.5% from 833,398 in 2016. In total, 7.7 million road goods vehicles passed through the UK in 2017 – a decrease of 5.0% from 2016
  • A total of 470,418 non-freight vehicles passed through Northern Ireland ports in 2017.  This compared with a figure of 458,664 in 2016 – an increase of 2.6%.  In total, 5.5 million non-freight vehicles passed through the UK in 2017 – a decrease of 4.0% from 2016

Current publication and data tables

Archive data 

Further information

Patrick O'Kane
Telephone: 028 9025 5161
Email: Patrick.O'Kane@nisra.gov.uk 
Twitter: @ELMSNISRA