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Sea transport

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  • Release date: 24 February 2015
  • Period covered: 2013
An annual report which includes information on ship arrivals, foreign and domestic travel and cargo.

Key points

In Wales during 2013 there was total freight traffic through Welsh ports of 58.9 million tonnes (Mt); of this, 39.1 Mt were good inwards and 19.8 Mt were goods outwards. Welsh ports accounted for 12 per cent of the total United Kingdom (UK) port traffic of 503.0 Mt.

The largest components of these flows:

  • liquid oil products, with total traffic of 19.1 Mt; of which nearly 15 Mt was goods outwards, with 11.4 Mt exported to the rest of the world and 3.6 Mt sent to destinations elsewhere in the UK. The remaining 4.2 Mt were goods inwards from both UK and foreign sources
  • crude oil, with total traffic of 5.5 Mt; of which all was inwards, with 3.9 Mt from the rest of the UK and 11.6 Mt imported from elsewhere in the world
  • liquefied gas, with total traffic of 6.5 Mt.

Welsh ports also act as the gateway between the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe with, for example, nearly three quarters of goods carried on HGVs between Ireland and Europe passing through Wales.

In 2013:

  • 416 thousand lorries and unaccompanied trailers passed through Welsh ports to and from Ireland.  Within this total, around half were from, and half to, Ireland. Over three quarters (78%) of this traffic went through Holyhead
  • in addition, in 2013 there were 2.6 million sea passengers travelling between Wales and Ireland; 2.0 million of these passed through Holyhead with the remainder using the ports of Fishguard and Milford Haven.


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