Maritime ports freight and passenger statistics

Data from January 2017. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned update: February 2018.

This article presents the latest statistical data on freight handling and passenger traffic in ports in the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway, Montenegro and Turkey. It also covers maritime transport flows with the main partner geographical areas, as well as individual results for major European ports. This article contains data for 2015. Please note that the 2009-2015 figures for France are provisional estimates which are likely to be revised.

Figure 1: Gross weight of seaborne goods handled in all ports, 1997-2015 (in million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mg_aa_cwh) and (mar_go_qm)
Figure 2: Gross weight of seaborne goods handled (inward and outward) in all ports in 2015 (in tonnes per inhabitant)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mg_aa_cwh)
Table 1: Gross weight of seaborne goods handled in all ports (in million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mg_aa_cwhd)
Table 2: Gross weight of seaborne goods handled (inward and outward) in main ports in 2015 by type of cargo (in % of total cargo handled)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mg_am_cwhc)
Table 3: Top 20 cargo ports in 2015 - on the basis of gross weight of goods handled (in million tonnes)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mg_aa_pwhd)
Map 1: Main cargo ports in the reporting countries 2015 by gross weight of goods handled
Source: Eurostat (mar_mg_aa_pwhd)
Table 4: Top 20 container ports in 2015 - on the basis of volume of containers handled in (1 000 TEUs)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mg_am_pvh)
Map 2: Main Extra-EU 28 regional transport flows in 2015 by gross weight of goods handled
Source: Eurostat - Maritime transport - Goods (mar_go)
Table 5: Seaborne transport of goods between main ports in the reporting country and their partner ports grouped by main geographical areas (in % of total gross weight of goods transported)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mg_am_cwt) and (mar_mg_am_cwtt)
Figure 3: Number of seaborne passengers embarked and disembarked in all ports (in 1000)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mp_aa_cph)
Table 6: Number of seaborne passengers embarked and disembarked in all ports, 2005-2015 (in 1000)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mp_aa_cph) and (mar_mp_aa_cphd)
Table 7: Top 20 passenger ports in 2015 - on the basis of number of passengers embarked and disembarked (in 1000)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mp_aa_pphd)
Table 8: Seaborne transport of passengers (excluding cruise passengers) between main ports in the reporting country and their partner ports grouped by geographical areas (in % of passengers (excluding cruise passengers) transported)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mp_am_cft) and (mar_mp_am_cftt)
Table 9: Number of vessels in main ports by type of vessel (based on inward declarations)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mt_am_csvi)
Table 10: Gross Tonnage (GT) of vessels in main ports by type of vessel (in 1000 GT, based on inward declarations)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mt_am_csvi)
Figure 4: Average Gross Tonnage (GT) per vessel in EU-28 main ports (based on inward declarations)
Source: Eurostat (mar_mt_am_csvi)

Main statistical findings

Increased volumes of seaborne goods and passengers in EU ports

The total gross weight of goods handled in EU ports is estimated at just above 3.8 billion tonnes in 2015, an increase of 1.3 % from 2014. According to the latest figures, the EU port freight activity seems to have resumed on a slight path towards recovery in 2014, a trend that was sustained in the four quarters of 2015 (Figure 1). Even so, the gross weight of goods handled in EU ports in 2015 was still lower than the volumes handled in the years immediately preceding the economic downturn in Europe in 2009.

The Netherlands remained the largest maritime freight transport country in Europe in 2015; while Rotterdam, Antwerpen, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Algeciras maintained their positions as the five largest freight ports. The location of the largest EU freight ports is reflected in the national figures for gross weight of goods handled in maritime ports per inhabitant (Figure 2).

Among the EU member states, the seaborne freight-per-capita ratio varied from 35.1 tonnes per inhabitant in the Netherlands to 1.8 tonnes per inhabitant in Poland in 2015. The EU-28 average was 7.5 tonnes per inhabitant. However, the EFTA country Norway recorded the highest ratio of the countries reporting maritime data to Eurostat, with 37.3 tonnes of seaborne goods handled per inhabitant in 2015.

The number of passengers passing through EU ports increased 0.6 % between 2014 and 2015, to more than 395 million passengers (Figure 3). In contrast, the total number of passengers embarking and disembarking in EU ports has fallen by 7.0 % over the last five years.

With 70 million passengers passing through its ports, Italy was the major seaborne passenger country in Europe in 2015, followed by Greece with close to 66 million passengers. These two leading seaborne passenger countries had a combined share of about one third of the total number of seaborne passengers embarking and disembarking in the EU countries.

The number of vessels calling in the main EU ports in 2015 is estimated at just above 2.2 million, an increase of 1.7 % from the previous year. In the same period, the estimated gross tonnage (GT) of the vessels calling in EU ports grew by 3.3 % to 16.4 billion GT. As a result, the average size of vessels calling in the main EU-28 ports increased by 1.6 % to about 7 400 GT in 2015 (Figure 4).

The Netherlands is EU’s largest maritime freight transport country

The Netherlands has reported the largest volumes of seaborne freight handling in Europe every year since overtaking the United Kingdom in 2010. At 594 million tonnes, the volume of seaborne goods handled in Dutch ports represented 15.5 % of the EU-28 total in 2015. The Netherlands was followed by the United Kingdom (UK) and Italy, with shares of 12.9 % and 11.9 % of the EU total, respectively (Table 1).

Behind these three, Spain remained the fourth largest EU maritime freight transport country in 2015, while France narrowly overtook Germany to resume fifth place among the EU countries. Among other countries reporting maritime freight data to Eurostat, the candidate country Turkey handled close to 412 million tonnes of goods in 2015, placing Turkey between Spain and France in terms of total tonnage of seaborne goods handled.

Compared with 2014, the largest relative increases in port freight activity were recorded by Cyprus (+42.9 %), the candidate country Montenegro (+19.8 %), Slovenia (+10.7 %), the candidate country Turkey (+8.7 %) and Portugal (+8.2 %). The largest relative decreases were recorded in Estonia (-19.8 %), Finland (-7.4 %) and Latvia (-5.6 %).

Eight of the 23 maritime Member States recorded decreases in port freight activity in the five-year period between 2010 and 2015. The highest relative falls were observed for Estonia (-24.0 %), Croatia (-22.2 %) and Finland (-10.6 %). In contrast, Cyprus registered the largest relative increase (+47.6 %), followed by Slovenia (+ 36.6 %), Portugal (+31.5 %) and Greece (+30.2 %).

Inward movements of goods to the EU-28 countries increased by 0.5 % to almost 2.3 billion tonnes in 2015, while outwards movements increased by 2.5 % to almost 1.6 billion tonnes. Nonetheless, inward movements still accounted for more than 59 % of the total tonnes of goods handled in the EU ports. Liquid bulk goods, such as crude oil and oil products, made up a substantial proportion of the inward tonnage.

More seaborne goods are unloaded from than loaded onto vessels in the majority of EU countries. Malta and the Netherlands had the highest shares of unloaded goods in 2015, with respective shares of 92 % and 68 % of the total tonnes of seaborne goods recorded as inward movements to their ports. In contrast, Romania and Bulgaria, the three Baltic countries and the EEA country Norway and the candidate country Montenegro all had high shares of outward movements of goods.

Liquid bulk made up 38 % of the total cargo handled

Liquid bulk goods accounted for 38 % of the total cargo handled in the main EU ports in 2015 (Table 2), followed by dry bulk goods (23 %), containerised goods (21 %) and goods transported on Ro-Ro mobile units (12 %). The largest volumes of liquid bulk goods were handled in the Netherlands (278 million tonnes), followed by the UK (194 million tonnes) and Italy (186 million tonnes). The Baltic country of Estonia recorded the highest share of liquid bulk goods as a percentage of the total tonnages passing through its main ports in 2015, mainly reflecting large volumes of outward movements of oil products to the United States of America (USA).

With 144 million tonnes, Dutch ports also handled the largest volumes of dry bulk goods in the EU in 2015, followed by the UK with 104 million tonnes. Even so, the tonnages of dry bulk goods handled in both the Netherlands and the UK in 2015 were lower than the 159 million tonnes reported by the candidate country Turkey. Romania had the highest share of dry bulk goods as a percentage of the total tonnages in 2015, mainly reflecting large volumes of outward movements of agricultural products from its ports.

Containers were the dominant type of cargo handled in German and Belgian ports in 2015, with shares of 43 % and 41 % respectively of the total cargo passing through the ports of the two countries. The largest volumes of containerised goods, however, were handled in Spanish and German ports, with 130 million tonnes and 126 million tonnes, respectively. The two top container countries were followed by the Netherlands with 108 million tonnes and Belgium with 98 million tonnes of containerised goods.

The share of Ro-Ro units in the total tonnage of goods was the highest for Ireland (28 %), Sweden (27 %), and Denmark (25 %), reflecting the importance of Ro-Ro ferry traffic in the seaborne transport of these countries. In tonnage terms, the United Kingdom (104 million tonnes) and Italy (88 million tonnes) recorded the largest EU volumes of goods transported on Ro-Ro mobile units in 2015.

Rotterdam, Antwerpen and Hamburg stayed top ports

Rotterdam, Antwerpen and Hamburg, all located on the North Sea coast, maintained their positions as Europe's top three ports in 2015, both in terms of the gross weight of goods handled and in terms of the volume of containers handled in the ports. The 20 largest cargo ports accounted for close to 39 % of the total tonnage of goods handled in the main ports of the reporting countries in 2015, a slight increase compared to 2014. The largest port in Europe, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, on its own accounted for close to 10 % of the total tonnage handled in the countries reporting maritime freight data to Eurostat.

Four of the five largest cargo ports in Europe recorded increases in the tonnes of goods handled in 2015, the exception being Hamburg in Germany which reported a decrease of 4.6 % from 2014 (Table 3). In comparison, Rotterdam and Amsterdam in the Netherlands saw increases of 3.6 % and 1.7 %, respectively, while Antwerpen in Belgium recorded an increase of 5.4 % and Algeciras in Spain recorded an increase of 4.9 % from 2014.

Among the other top 20 cargo ports, Botas in the candidate country Turkey recorded a growth of 37 % from 2014, overtaking Marseille as the 6th largest cargo port in the countries reporting maritime freight data to Eurostat. The ports of Izmit and Aliaga in Turkey also reported substantial increases in the total tonnage of goods handled in 2015 (+9.5 % and +15.3 %, respectively). In the same period, Sines in Portugal saw a growth of almost 18 % and became the 18th largest European port in terms of gross weight of goods handled in 2015. The ports of Piraeus in Greece (-7.5 %) and Bremerhaven in Germany (-7.3 %), on the other hand, both reported decreases in port activity in 2015, mainly caused by reduced volumes of goods in containers.

With close to 11.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled, Rotterdam was Europe’s largest container port in 2015 (Table 4). Rotterdam was followed by Antwerpen with 9.4 million TEUs and Hamburg with 8.8 million TEUs handled in total. All in all, eleven of the top 20 container ports recorded decreases in the number of TEUs handled compared to 2014. In relative terms, the largest decreases were seen by Gioia Tauro in Italy (-18.3 %), Gdansk in Poland (-15.5 %), Ambarli in Turkey (-11.1 %) and the port of Hamburg (-9.5 %). The largest relative increases were recorded by La Spezia in Italy (+25.1 %), London in the UK (+11.8 %) and Sines in Portugal (+8.5 %).

The most specialised of the top 20 cargo ports in handling containers were Bremerhaven in Germany, Piraeus in Greece and Valencia in Spain; the most specialised in handling liquid bulk goods were Bergen in Norway, Botas in Turkey and Trieste in Italy. While inward activity was prevalent in most of the top 20 ports, the port of Riga in Latvia handled substantial outward movements of coal and oil products, while the ports of Bergen and Botas handled substantial outward movements of crude oil. In addition, Bremerhaven and Valencia recorded slightly more outward than inward movements of containerised goods (Table 3).

Nine of the top 20 cargo ports in 2015 were located on the Mediterranean, while eight were located on the North Sea coast of Europe. Of the remaining three ports, two were located on the Atlantic coast and one was located on the Baltic (Map 1). The composition of the national port infrastructure will sometimes determine whether a country is represented on the top 20 list of cargo ports or not. Denmark, Sweden and Finland, for instance, are countries with a large number of medium-sized ports, all handling volumes of goods lower than the 38.3 million annual tonnes required to make the top 20 list.

Most EU maritime freight transport is with extra-EU partners

Unlike statistics presented earlier in this article, the figures in Table 5 do not present the total handling of goods in ports (inward movements plus outward movements in the ports), but estimate the seaborne transport of goods between the main European ports and their partner ports. As far as possible, double-counting of the same goods being reported as outward transport in one port and inward transport in another port is excluded in these figures (see data sources and availability).

At close to 3.1 billion tonnes, the EU seaborne transport of goods increased 1.6 % from 2014 to 2015. The majority of these goods (63 %) were transported to or from ports outside the EU (international extra EU-28 transport), making maritime transport the most important mode for long distance transport of goods to or from the EU, in tonnage terms. Cross-border transport between ports in the EU (international intra EU-28 transport) made up 25 % of the maritime transport of goods in 2015, while transport of goods between national ports made up 9 % of the total EU maritime transport.

In countries with long shorelines or a large number of islands, like Italy, Greece, Denmark and the EFTA country Norway, the share of national seaborne transport tend to be relatively high (from 16 % to 29 %). Countries like Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, Finland and Sweden, on the other hand, have high shares of international intra-EU transport (above 60 %), because their main maritime freight transport partners are found within the EU. Other countries, like Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia, have high shares of extra-EU transport (above 55 %), based on their geographical position or the "deep sea" nature of the transport activities prevailing in their main ports.

Map 2 illustrates the largest maritime transport flows between the EU and the main international partner regions. As shown in the map, all of the EU’s top eight maritime flows of goods in 2015 were inward flows. In declining order, these were the inward flows of goods from the Baltic Sea region of Russia (7.4 % of the total EU seaborne transport), Norway (5.0 %), Brazil (4.5 %), the East Coast of the USA (4.2 %), the Black Sea region of Russia (3.5 %), China (3.2 %), Egypt (3.2 %) and Turkey (2.9%). In comparison, the ninth largest seaborne transport flow in 2015 was the outward flow of goods from the EU to the East Coast of the USA (2.8 %, not illustrated in the map).

Slight increase in number of seaborne passengers

The total number of passengers embarking and disembarking in EU ports is estimated at close to 395 million in 2015, a rise of 0.6 % from the previous year (Figure 3). Over the last five years, however, the total number of passengers embarking and disembarking in EU ports has fallen by 7.0 % (Table 6).

Unlike goods movements, where broadly 60 % of goods are unloaded and 40 % loaded in the EU ports, the difference between the number of passengers disembarking ("inwards") and embarking ("outwards") in EU ports is generally small. This reflects the fact that seaborne passenger transport in Europe is mainly carried by national or intra-EU ferry services, with the same passengers being counted twice in the port throughput statistics (once when they embark the ferry in one EU port and once when they disembark the same ferry in another EU port).

At 70 million and close to 66 million seaborne passengers, respectively, Italian and Greek ports handled a combined share of more than 34 % of the total number of passengers embarking and disembarking in EU ports in 2015. In consequence, Italy and Greece remained the main countries in terms of EU seaborne passenger transport, despite both countries recording decreases in passengers embarking and disembarking compared to 2014 (-2.7 % and -1.0%, respectively). The two leading countries were followed by Denmark with close to 42 million passengers embarking and disembarking in 2015, a slight increase from 2014.

Compared with the previous year, the largest relative increases in seaborne passengers transport were recorded by Bulgaria (+60.1 % from a low base), Slovenia (+25.7 %), Croatia (+15.9 %) and Romania (+15.8 %) in 2015. The largest relative decreases were recorded in Latvia (-25.0 %), Cyprus (-11.0 %), the candidate country Montenegro (-8.2 %) and the EFTA country Norway (-7.5 %).

Compared with the seaborne passenger volumes in 2010, 13 of the 23 maritime EU countries recorded decreases in 2015. The highest relative falls were observed for Cyprus (-36.7 %), Greece (-23.6 %), Italy (-19.8 %) and Portugal (-16.8 %). In contrast, Romania registered the largest relative increase (+142.7 % from a low base). The neighbouring country of Bulgaria also reported a substantial rise in seaborne passengers of 67.4 % over the last five years (albeit from a low base), as did the candidate country Turkey (+ 41.6 %).

Although cruise passengers made up only 3.1 % of the total number of passengers embarking and disembarking in EU ports in 2015, these passengers play an important role in the ports and countries where the cruise traffic is concentrated. Close to 80 % of the total number of cruise passengers embarking and disembarking in European ports in 2015 did so in the ports of one of the four countries Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany (Table 6). Cruise passengers on day excursions in EU ports are not included in these figures.

The top 20 passenger ports accounted for just above 36 % of the total number of passengers embarking and disembarking in the reporting countries in 2015, a slight decrease from 2014 (Table 7). The port of Dover in the United Kingdom kept its position as the largest European passenger port, despite a 2.2 % decrease in the number of passengers embarking and disembarking from 2014 to 2015. The Spanish port of Palma de Mallorca recorded the largest relative increases in the number of passengers between 2014 and 2015 (+14.4 %), while the Italian ports of Capri and Napoli recorded the largest decreases in the same period (-28.1 % and -15.3 %, respectively).

The time series in Tables 6 and 7 show that some countries and ports have experienced substantial decreases in the number of seaborne passengers over time. These sudden drops are typically caused by structural changes, such as openings of new bridge or tunnel connections and subsequent closure of ferry links. The rapid growth in low cost flights in recent years might be another cause behind the declining trend in the number of seaborne passengers over time.

Most EU seaborne passenger transport is within national borders

Table 8 shows the breakdown of seaborne passenger transport between national, international intra-EU and international extra-EU transport for each reporting country (excluding cruise passengers). Unlike the statistics presented in tables 6 and 7, these figures do not reflect the sum of embarkation and disembarkation of passengers in ports, but estimate the transport of passengers between ports. As far as possible, double-counting of the same passengers being reported as embarking in one port and disembarking in another port within the same statistical aggregate is excluded in these figures (see data sources and availability).

Estimated at almost 206 million passengers, the seaborne passenger transport to and from the main EU-28 ports decreased 0.7 % from 2014 to 2015. Both of the main EU seaborne passenger countries, Italy and Greece, saw decreases in the estimated number of seaborne passengers transported to or from their main ports compared with 2014 (-3.1 % and -2.1 %, respectively). However, the largest relative decreases in maritime passenger transport were recorded by Latvia (-32.5 %) and Belgium (-5.8 %). In contrast, the estimated number of seaborne passengers transported to or from the main ports of Croatia rose substantially in the same period (+14.6 %).

The majority of the seaborne passenger transport in the EU is carried out between ports situated in the same country (57 %), reflecting the dominant role of national ferry services in the EU seaborne passenger transport. In general, countries with busy ferry connections to and from well-populated islands will have both a large volume of seaborne passenger transport and a high share of national maritime passenger transport. This applies to the two leading maritime passenger countries, Italy and Greece, as well as countries like Spain, Croatia and Portugal.

Countries with ferry connections to other EU countries, such as Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Sweden and the UK, naturally have high shares of international intra-EU transport. As in previous years, Spain and Denmark recorded the highest shares of extra-EU seaborne passenger transport in 2015, with Spain having ferry links with Morocco and Denmark with Norway.

More vessels calling in the main EU ports

The number of vessels calling in main EU-28 ports in 2015 is estimated at just above 2.2 million, an increase of 1.7 % from the previous year (Table 9). In the same period, the estimated gross tonnage (GT) of the vessels calling in EU ports grew by 3.3 % to 16.4 billion GT (Table 10). As a result, the average size of vessels calling in the main EU-28 ports increased by 1.6 % to about 7 400 GT in 2015 (Figure 4).

Italy saw both the highest number of port calls and the largest gross tonnage of vessels making port calls in 2015 (510 000 vessels with a combined gross tonnage of 2.3 billion GT). Greece had the second highest number of port calls (475 000 vessels), followed by Denmark (288 000 vessels). On the other hand, the UK recorded the second largest gross tonnage after Italy of vessels calling at its main ports in 2015 (2.2 billion GT), followed by Spain (2.1 billion GT).

Vessels in the category “Cargo, non-specialised” (which includes Ro-Ro vessels) made the highest share of calls in main EU ports in 2015, followed by passenger vessels, liquid bulk vessels and container vessels. The non-specialised cargo vessels also had the highest share of the combined gross tonnage of the vessels calling in main EU ports, followed by container vessels and liquid bulk vessels. However, cruise ships had by far the largest average gross tonnage of vessels calling in EU main ports in 2015, followed by container vessels and specialised cargo vessels.

For passenger vessels, there are substantial differences in the average size of vessels making port calls in various countries, with some countries, like Germany, Croatia and Italy, having a large number of small passenger vessels calling in their main ports. A similar variation is found for container vessels. Due to a dominance of feeder services, some countries, like Ireland, have a low gross tonnage for container vessels even though the number of vessels is quite high. In other countries, like Bulgaria, Germany, France, Malta and the Netherlands, the average size of container vessels calling in the main ports is much higher, reflecting a higher share of deep-sea oriented container transport or the presence of hub ports.

Data sources and availability

This article presents the trends in freight and passenger transport in European Union (EU) ports and also includes figures for Iceland, Norway, Montenegro and Turkey. The content is based on data collected within the legal framework for EU maritime transport statistics, i.e. Directive 2009/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea and later amendments. Directive 2009/42/EC is a recast of the original Council Directive 95/64/EC of 8 December 1995.

The EU-28 aggregates in the statistics refer to the total of 23 maritime Member States. The Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia have no maritime ports. Norway and Iceland provide Eurostat with data as members of the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA country Liechtenstein has no maritime ports. Montenegro and Turkey provide data as candidate countries.

“Main ports” are ports handling more than 1 million tonnes of goods or more than 200 000 passengers annually (however, data for some smaller ports may be included in the published results). Data are presented at level of “statistical ports”. A statistical port consists of one or more ports, normally controlled by a single port authority, able to record ship and cargo movements.

Explanatory notes for tables:

Basic results and derived indicators (such as growth rates and shares in % of total) in the tables are rounded. However, the figures are based on the non-rounded original data. As a result, the sum of shares in % of total, as shown in the tables, is not necessarily equal to 100%. A special aggregate EEA+ME+TR is used in some tables to show the total sum of all ports in the countries reporting maritime data to Eurostat.

Explanatory notes for countries are available in the metadata on the Eurostat website.

Table 1: Starting from 2011, the figures for Spain include data for a number of minor regional ports outside the state-controlled port system. Turkey started to report data on seaborne transport in 2008 and Montenegro in 2012. Data have been partially estimated by Eurostat for a number of French ports for the period 2009-2014. In consequence, the French data for 2009-2014 should be considered as provisional estimates that are likely to be revised.

Tables 2, 3 and 4:

  • Liquid bulk: liquefied gas, crude oil, oil products, other liquid bulk goods.
  • Dry bulk: ores, coal, agricultural products (e.g. grain, soya, tapioca), other dry bulk goods.
  • Large containers: 20 ft freight units, 40 ft freight units, freight units > 20 ft and < 40 ft, freight units > 40 ft.
  • Ro-Ro mobile units:

a) Mobile self-propelled units: road goods vehicles and accompanying trailers, passenger cars, motorcycles and accompanying trailers/caravans, passenger buses, trade vehicles (including import/export motor vehicles), live animals on the hoof, other mobile self-propelled units.

b) Mobile non-self-propelled units: unaccompanied road goods trailers and semi-trailers, unaccompanied caravans and other road, agricultural and industrial vehicles, rail wagons, shipborne port-to-port trailers and shipborne barges engaged in goods transport, other mobile non-self-propelled units

  • Other cargo: forestry products, iron and steel products, other general cargo.

The category “large containers” includes containers having a length of 20 feet or more. Smaller containers are included in the category “other cargo”. As a general rule, the container figures are limited to lift-on lift-off containers (Lo-Lo).

Data are not available for Iceland and Montenegro. French data for the period 2012-2015 are provisional estimates which are likely to be revised.

Tables 5 and 8: Data are not available for Iceland and Montenegro. The figures for France in these tables are provisional Eurostat estimates based on partial data, which are likely to be revised. Please note that the recording of unknown port of loading or unloading may have influenced the transport figure calculations, as well as the shares of maritime transport allocated to intra-EU, extra-EU and National maritime transport. In order to estimate maritime transport of goods/passengers between ports, the issue of "double counting" (the transport of the same goods or passengers being declared by both the port of loading/embarking (as outward movements) and the port of unloading/ disembarking (as inward movements) has to be addressed. Generally, when both the port of loading/embarkation and the port of unloading/disembarkation are situated within the same statistical aggregate, only the incoming flows of goods/passengers declared by ports are summed up to determine the total maritime transport within the aggregate ("elimination of double counting"). The algorithm for the elimination of double counting is applied at statistical port level. Thus, the total maritime transport per country excludes the double counting of maritime transport within the country. Similarly, the total maritime transport for the EU-28 excludes the double counting of national and international intra-EU maritime transport (see metadata on the Eurostat website for more information).

Table 6: Data include (cruise and non-cruise) passengers starting and ending a voyage. Cruise passengers on excursion in ports (cruise transit) are excluded. Slovenia provided only the total number of passengers from 2004 to 2007. Starting from 2011, the figures for Spain include data for a number of minor regional ports outside the state-controlled port system. Netherlands only provide the number of non-cruise passengers (“ferry passengers”). The passenger figures for Portugal do not include cruise passengers until 2011. Passenger data for Norway cover international traffic only. Romania started reporting passenger data in 2007, Turkey in 2008 and Montenegro in 2012. Data for Icelandic ports are not available for 2007 and 2008. Data for Iceland exclude cruise passengers. French data for the period 2009-2014 are provisional estimates which are likely to be revised.

Table 7: Data include (cruise and non-cruise) passengers starting and ending a voyage. Cruise passengers on excursion in ports (cruise transit) are excluded.

Table 8: See note for Table 5 above. French data for the period 2009-2014 are provisional estimates which are likely to be revised. 2015 data for Spanish ports in this table are provisional estimates which are likely to be revised. Passenger transport data for Malta do not include international transport to/from the port of Valletta. Passenger data for Norway cover international traffic only. Data are not available for Iceland.

Tables 9 and 10:

  • Liquid bulk: oil tanker, chemical tanker, LG tanker, tanker barge, other tanker.
  • Dry bulk: bulk/oil carrier, bulk carrier.
  • Container: full container.
  • Cargo, specialised: barge carrier, chemical carrier, irradiated fuel, livestock carrier, vehicle carrier, other specialised.
  • Cargo, non-specialised: reefer, Ro-Ro passenger, Ro-Ro container, other Ro-Ro cargo, combination carrier general cargo/passenger, combination carrier general cargo/container, single-decker, multi-decker.
  • Passenger: passenger (excluding cruise passenger vessels).
  • Cruise passenger: cruise ships only.
  • Offshore activities: offshore supply.
  • Other: dry cargo barges, tugs, miscellaneous, unknown type of vessel.

The figures for France in these tables are provisional estimates based on partial data, which are likely to be revised.

Special symbols used in the tables

':' not available '-'  not applicable

Context

The content of this statistical article is based on data collected within the framework of the EU maritime transport statistics Directive, i.e. Directive 2009/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea (OJ L141 of 6.6.2009, page 29), which is a recast of the original Council Directive 95/64 (EC) of 8 December 1995.

The basic legal act (Directive 2009/42/EC) was amended by:

The following legal acts include respectively the last official version of the list of ports and some dissemination aspects:

See also

Further Eurostat information

Publications

Database

Maritime transport (mar)
Maritime transport - main annual results (mar_m)
Maritime transport - short sea shipping - main annual results (mar_s)
Maritime transport - passengers (mar_pa)
Maritime transport - goods (mar_go)
Maritime transport - vessel traffic (mar_tf)
Maritime transport - regional statistics (mar_rg)

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Methodology / Metadata

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  • E3 Transport