Shipping was the main mode of goods transportation in a majority of EU member states in 2015, according to Eurostat.
Cyprus ranked second from 28 countries in its dependence on shipping for the transportation of goods at 80 per cent after Portugal at 81 per cent.
Greece followed Cyprus at 77 per cent, Spain 74 per cent, Malta 67 per cent, Italy 61 per cent and Finland (60 per cent). Shares of over 50 per cent were also reported by the Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Denmark and Germany.
At the opposite end of the scale, maritime transport was less significant in the Czech Republic with 12 per cent, Luxembourg 19 per cent, followed by Ireland and Latvia both 27 per cent, Austria 31 per cent and Croatia 35 per cent.
In 2015 some 53 per cent of EU imports entered the bloc by sea, while shipping represented 48 per cent of EU exports to third countries.
The use of maritime transport for EU trade in goods has slightly increased over the past ten years: in 2006, less than half – 47 per cent – of the EU trade in goods with third countries was conducted by sea.
Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg, all located on the North Sea coast, were the top three EU cargo ports in 2014, accounting together for almost a fifth of the gross weight of goods handled in EU ports.