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 2018 and were published 26th September 2019. The most recent DfT statistics show that:

  • The total tonnage through Northern Ireland (NI) ports in 2018 was 28.4 million tonnes, an increase of 4.6% compared to 27.1 million tonnes the previous year.  Total freight traffic through United Kingdom (UK) ports in 2018 was 483.3 million tonnes, compared to 481.8 million tonnes the previous year, an increase of 0.3%.
  • Over the year in NI, the total tonnage of inward traffic increased by 3.7% to 17.3 million tonnes, and outward traffic increased by 6.0% to 11.1 million tonnes.  For the UK as a whole, the volume of inward traffic for 2018 increased by 3.0% to 310.1 million tonnes and outward traffic decreased by 4.2% to 173.2 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 10% through the Port of Larne.  The most popular UK port was Grimsby & Immingham, which handled 12% of total UK port traffic in 2018.
  • A total of 863,511 road goods vehicles passed through Northern Ireland ports in 2018 – an increase of 2.1% from 846,030 in 2017. In total, 7.4 million road goods vehicles passed through the UK in 2018 – a decrease of 3.9% from 2017.
  • A total of 464,286 non-freight vehicles passed through Northern Ireland ports in 2018.  This compared with a figure of 470,418 in 2017 – a decrease of 1.3%.  In total, 5.9 million non-freight vehicles passed through the UK in 2018 – an increase of 6.4% from 2017.

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


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