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Maritime ports in the UK - statistics & facts

The United Kingdom’s port industry comprises over 120 commercial ports and is dominated by five major operators: Associated British Ports (ABP), Forth Ports, Hutchinson Port Holdings (HPH), Peel Group, and PD Ports. Managing over 20 ports, among which Southampton, ABP totaled a net profit of nearly 140 million British pounds in 2019.

London ranks first for cargo handling

In terms of freight transportation, the ports of Grimsby & Immingham, Milford Haven, Liverpool, and Southampton are among the busiest commercial ports in the country. London was also one of the major hubs for incoming goods. In 2018, roughly 44.8 million tonnes arrived at the London port, more than was brought into any other UK harbor. By comparison, Scotland’s Firth of Forth was the port with the largest outward tonnage, nearly 22 million tonnes of outbound cargo. This was mainly related to the shipping of crude oil and liquefied gas.

Southampton is the busiest port for the cruise segment

The Dover – Calais route was the busiest sea travel route in the United Kingdom. Passenger movements reached 8.6 million in 2019, which was nearly four times the amount recorded for the passage between Dover and Dunkirk. Despite still maintaining its position as the largest ferry port in the country, the number of travelers passing through Dover noticeably declined. In 2019, roughly 11 million passengers were recorded entering or leaving the port. Southampton was the leading port for cruise travel as well as home to Carnival UK. In 2020, however, passenger traffic dropped dramatically as a consequence of COVID-19. As of August 2020, the operations of Cunard and P&O Cruises, both belonging to Carnival group, were suspended until autumn 2020.

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Maritime ports in the United Kingdom

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Busiest incoming freight ports

Busiest outgoing freight ports

Busiest passenger ports

Transported products

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