Freight News, Sea

Ferry freight stages recovery

[ February 20, 2017   //   ]

UK ro ro freight appears to have staged a full recovery from recession, rising 3.5% in 2016, according to annual figures published today by industry body, Discover Ferries.

Some 4.57m freight vehicles were carried on ferries in 2016 with increases on three main sectors surveyed between the UK and Ireland or continental Europe.

Ferry freight has grown for the last five years and has risen by 19.6% since 2011.

The data comes from the 2016 Ferrystat figures released today by Discover Ferries.

Routes between Dover and Calais/Dunkerque saw a 2.1% increase to 2.59m units. Closure in October of the Jungle migrant camp helped the figures.

Director of Discover Ferries, Bill Gibbons, said: “These are strong figures and are an indicator of the recovering Irish and British economies and show the continuing success story of ferry freight. This is a very positive story in this sector and one that should continue despite the uncertainly surround Brexit.”

He added that ferry freight was forecast to grow further over the coming decade, driven by Dover, although this was dependent on the UK remaining part of the European customs union or finding a solution that will not hamper the flow of goods through UK ports.

Freight on the Irish Sea routes rose by six% to 1.72m units including 500,000 units on routes to Belfast from Heysham, Cairnryan and Liverpool, a record year for freight on these routes. Western Channel routes were also up by 2.4% to 254,000 units.

The freight survey does not include the North Sea and domestic routes.

UK Freight Ferry by sector 2011 – 2016, Freight units
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 % 11/16 change
Short Ferry Routes 2,069,251 2,088,294 2,207,304 2,420,390 2,540,243 2,592,494 25.3
Western Channel 249,223 229,546 216,561 223,488 248,376 254,237 2
Irish Sea 1,498,102 1,584,977 1,512,170 1,563,752 1,622,758 1,719,531 14.8
TOTAL 3,816,576 3,902,817 3,936,035 4,207,630 4,411,377 4,566,262 19.6
% growth 2.3 0.9 6.9 4.8 3.5
Source – Freightstat, IRN Research


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