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uk port statistics


UK Ports and Logistics Ltd (UKPL) - commercial analysis and advice on UK ports and their markets.

UKPL investigates, analyses and reports on market, traffic and port freight statistics for a wide spectrum of clients who need to keep their fingers on the pulse of this dynamic sector of the UK economy. Our work is used by company management, their Boards and key stakeholders to guide market opportunity analyses, investment decisions, business plans, marketing strategies and benchmarking.


The UK ports sector has a highly diverse competitive landscape with a mix of ownership structures and business models that are quite unique compared to most countries. UK ports and terminal owners and operators include global corporations (e.g. HPH and DP World); several privately-owned port companies (e.g. ABP, Peel Ports, Forth Ports, PD Ports and Victoria Group); and substantial Trust Ports including Milford Haven, Dover, Aberdeen Harbour and the Port of Tyne. In addition there are ferry ports and terminals operated by companies such as Stena Line and C.RO and a number of municipal ports including Portsmouth and Sunderland, owned by their local councils. Through these commercial ports, the UK handles in excess of 500 million tonnes of freight.

Total UK Ports 1

In contrast with the long term decline in overall UK port traffic, the unit load sector has achieved volume growth in freight tonnage as summarised in the table below.

UK port traffic split bulk and units in tonnes

Regular subscribers to our quarterly statistics analysis receive updates of the latest volume trends at UK ports, including market share analysis of tonnes and units handled on a port-by-port basis.

UKPL utilises market data for management reports, website charts and tables from a wide range of sources including the UK Office for National Statistics, the UK Department for Transport, the Office of Rail and Road, SMMT, Eurostat, and company websites.

UKPL and our expert Associates offer comprehensive analysis of ports, shipping patterns, market trends and future opportunities