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 2019 and were published 1st October 2020. The most recent DfT statistics show that:

  • The total tonnage through Northern Ireland (NI) ports in 2019 was 27.4 million tonnes, an decrease of 3.5% compared to 28.4 million tonnes the previous year.  Total freight traffic through United Kingdom (UK) ports in 2018 was 486.1 million tonnes, compared to 483.3 million tonnes the previous year, an increase of 0.6%.
  • Over the year in NI, the total tonnage of inward traffic decreased by 4.0% to 16.6 million tonnes, and outward traffic decreased by 2.8% to 10.8 million tonnes.  For the UK as a whole, the volume of inward traffic for 2019 increased by 1.6% to 315.0 million tonnes and outward traffic decreased by 1.2% to 171.1 million tonnes.
  • The majority of total NI traffic came through the Belfast Port (68%), while Warrenpoint accounted for the second highest level of total traffic (12%), followed by 10% through the Port of Larne.  The most popular UK port was Grimsby & Immingham, which handled 11% of total UK port traffic in 2019.
  • A total of 867,698 road goods vehicles passed through Northern Ireland ports in 2019 – an increase of 0.5% from 863,511 in 2018. In total, 7.4 million road goods vehicles passed through the UK in 2019 – a decrease of 0.7% from 2018.
  • A total of 468,165 non-freight vehicles passed through Northern Ireland ports in 2019.  This compared with a figure of 464,286 in 2018 – an increase of 0.8%.  In total, 5.5 million non-freight vehicles passed through the UK in 2019 – a decrease of 5.7% from 2018.

Current publication and data tables

Archive data 

Further information

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