Waterborne Freight in the UK

Monday, November 17, 2008

The latest (2007) annual National Statistics on waterborne freight in the UK produced by the Department for Transport, according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority, shows that:
•    Traffic on UK domestic waters accounted for 5 per cent (126 million tonnes) of all goods lifted in the UK, and 20 per cent (51 billion tonne-kilometres) of all goods moved in 2007.
•    Over the decade to 2007, goods lifted on UK waters fell by 11 per cent, and goods moved increased by 6 per cent, but there have been fluctuations during the period. In 2007, goods lifted on UK waters were at the same level as 2006 and goods moved fell by 2 per cent.
•    Of the total goods moved on UK domestic waters in 2007, 68 per cent was traffic around the coast; 30 per cent was one-port traffic (to or from offshore installations, or dredged materials); and 3 per cent was inland waters traffic (including both non-seagoing traffic and seagoing traffic crossing into inland waters).
•    Since 2000, when a more accurate distinction between coastwise and one-port traffic was introduced, coastwise traffic has fallen by 5 per cent. In 2007, coastwise traffic rose by 6 per cent compared with 2006.
•    One-port traffic has fallen by 49 per cent since 2000. Traffic for 2007 was 18 per cent lower than in 2006.
•    In the decade since 1997, goods moved on inland waters has fallen by 11 per cent. In 2007, however, this traffic increased by 4 per cent compared to 2006.
•    Crude petroleum and petroleum products were the largest type of cargo moved, accounting for 72 per cent of all waterborne freight moved.
•    The River Thames was the busiest of the major inland waterways, with 0.82 billion tonne-kilometres of goods moved (48 per cent of the inland waters total, and 1.6 per cent of all waterborne traffic). Traffic on the River Humber totalled 0.23 billion tonne-kilometres and the River Forth 0.17 billion tonne-kilometres.

Goods moved are measured in terms of tonne-kilometres, defined as tonnage lifted multiplied by distance travelled.

View the complete report on the Transport Statistics website at www.dft.gov.uk.

(Source: UK Department of Transport)


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