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Sea transport

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  • Release date: 12 March 2014
  • Period covered: 2013
  • Next update: 24 February 2015
An annual report which includes information on ship arrivals, foreign and domestic travel and cargo.

Key points

In Wales during 2012 there was total freight traffic through Welsh ports of 54.6 million tonnes (Mt); of this, 36.5 Mt were good inwards and 18.1 Mt were goods outwards. Welsh ports accounted for 11 per cent of the total United Kingdom (UK) port traffic of 500.9 Mt.  

The largest components of these flows:

  • crude oil, with total traffic of 14.1 Mt; of which all was inwards, with 3.2 Mt from the rest of the UK and 10.9 Mt imported from elsewhere in the world
  • liquefied gas, with total traffic of 8.1 Mt
  • liquid oil products, with total traffic of 17.8 Mt; of which 13.8 Mt was goods outwards, with 10.6 Mt exported to the rest of the world and 3.2 Mt sent to destinations elsewhere in the UK. 4.0 Mt were goods inwards from both UK and foreign sources.

Welsh ports also act as the gateway between the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe with, for example, over 80 per cent of the HGV traffic between Ireland and Europe passing through Wales.

In 2012:

  • 386 thousand lorries and unaccompanied trailers passed through Welsh ports to and from Ireland. Within this total, around half were from, and half to, Ireland. Around three quarters of this traffic went through Holyhead
  • in addition, in 2012 there were 2.6 million sea passengers travelling between Wales and Ireland; 1.9 million of these passed through Holyhead with the remainder using the ports of Fishguard and Milford Haven.


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