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Sea transport

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  • Release date: 14 December 2017
  • Period covered: 2016
A report which includes information on ship arrivals, foreign and domestic travel and cargo.

Key points

Total freight traffic at ports in Wales declined in 2016, reaching its lowest level since 2004 (53.5 million tonnes or Mt). 

  • Of traffic at major ports in Wales, 86 per cent was foreign traffic with 64 per cent being foreign imports. The majority of foreign imports and exports consisted of bulk traffic.

Welsh ports also act as the gateway between the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe.

  • 80 per cent of goods carried on Irish-registered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) between the Republic of Ireland and Europe passed through Welsh ports. Two thirds of this traffic passed through ports in North Wales.

Over the long term, total sea passenger movement between the Republic of Ireland and Wales has declined.

  • Since the removal of the Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire route in 2015, passenger traffic on the Holyhead to Dublin route has increased. 75% of passengers travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Wales in 2016 used the route between Holyhead and Dublin.


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