Skip to content

Sea transport

Bookmark and Share
  • Release date: 17 May 2017
  • Period covered: 2015
A report which includes information on ship arrivals, foreign and domestic travel and cargo.

Key points

In Wales during 2015 total freight traffic through Welsh ports was 56.4 million tonnes (Mt); of this, 40.4 Mt were goods inwards and 15.9 Mt were goods outwards. Welsh ports accounted for 11 per cent of the total United Kingdom (UK) port traffic of 496.7 Mt. The largest components of these flows were:

  • Oil products, with total traffic of 17.6 Mt; of which nearly 10.7 Mt was goods outwards, with 7.1 Mt exported to the rest of the world and 3.6 Mt sent to destinations elsewhere in the UK. The remaining 6.9 Mt were goods inwards from both UK and foreign sources
  • Crude oil, with total traffic of 10.6 Mt; most of which was inwards, with 2.2 Mt from the rest of the UK and 8.3 Mt imported from elsewhere in the world
  • Liquefied gas, with total traffic of 9.6 Mt.

Welsh ports also act as the gateway between the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe with, for example, over 72 per cent of the HGV traffic between the Republic of Ireland and Europe passing through Wales.

  • In 2015 492 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 (80 per cent) of this traffic went through Holyhead.
  • In addition, in 2015 there were just under 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.


Tel: 0300 025 6960

Tel: 0300 025 8099

Keep up to date @StatisticsWales@StatisticsWales Sign up to our newsletterSign up to our newsletter