Categories: EuropePublished On: 08.12.2023173 words0.9 min read

Port Freight Stats & UK-EU Trade

This week the Department for Transport released the latest numbers on port freight flows, covering July – September 2023. Compared to the same quarter last year, total freight tonnage through major ports (which DfT categorises as those with cargo volumes over 1 million tonnes annually):

  • Total freight tonnage decreased by 8% to 103.6 million tonnes
  • Inward tonnage decreased by 7% to 69.2 million tonnes
  • Outward tonnage decreased by 9% to 34.4 million tonnes
  • Total volume of unitised traffic increased by 3% to 3.2 million units
  • Inward units increased by 4% to 3.2 million units
  • Outward units increased by 2% to 2.8 million units

DfT suggests that tonnage is unlikely to reach 2019 levels (pre-COVID and EU exit), with OBR Brexit analysis assuming that UK-EU trade will be 15% lower in the long run than if the UK had remained in the EU. However, observant snapshot readers may remember our 10 November edition reporting the IEA’s report stating that Brexit has not affected UK-EU trade, contrary to the OBR’s forecast.You can read the full release and download the data on GOV.UK here.