UK ports handled record container traffic in 2016

UK ports handled record container traffic in 2016

By Jite Eriabie 

UK ports handled a record 10.2m teu of container traffic in 2016, 4% higher than 2015, according to official statistics released on Monday by the Department for Transport (DfT). Total throughput declined 3% to 484m tonnes, however, mainly as a result of reduced coal imports due to the closure of coal-fuelled power stations.

Port Felixstowe was the country’s principal box gateway, handling 4m teu (-0.7%), followed by Southampton with 2m teu (+4%), London with 1.5m teu (+26%), Liverpool with 700,000 teu (+7%), and Tees & Hartlepool with 400,000 teu (+6%).

Ro-ro cargo also rose 3% over 2015 to 18.2m units, as part of a total throughput of 24.1m units (+2%), the UK’s fourth consecutive year of increased unitized cargo.

“The DfT’s figures highlight the significance of unitised traffic to the UK economy and particularly ro-ro HGV vehicle trade with Europe,” commented British Ports Association chief executive Richard Ballantyne.

“This underlines the importance of agreeing a post Brexit deal with the EU that preserves as many of the advantages of Customs Union membership and avoids the need for border interventions, congestion and delays at ro-ro ports, whilst also enabling UK ports to take advantage of new global trade deals.” 

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