Freight News, Sea

We’re as big as the airlines, says ferry industry

[ October 13, 2021   //   ]

The global ferry industry (pre-Covid) is as big as aviation on some counts, according to an Oxford Economics study commissioned by trade association Interferry. 

Research into the latest pre-Covid full-year figures found that, in 2019, ferries carried 4.27 billion passengers – on a par with aviation – and 373 million vehicles across a worldwide fleet of 15,400 vessels. The industry provided 1.1 million jobs, contributed $60 billion to the world GDP and represented approximately 20% of shipping’s economic value to the European Union.

Data was collected from a range of third-party sources and among Interferry’s membership of 260 operators and suppliers in 40 countries.

Interferry chief executive Mike Corrigan comments: “We already knew that the ferry segment punches well above its weight – it comprises only 3-5% of the total shipping industry – but the scale of the findings surprised even seasoned insiders. Now perhaps we’ll get the political consideration that all too often is more focused on airlines, rail operators and road transport.  It’s long overdue for governments and the general public to appreciate the huge part that ferries play in passenger and freight transport – and this study confirms our sector’s vital importance in the process.”

The study findings were revealed last week at Interferry’s 45th annual conference in Santander, Spain, hosted by Brittany Ferries.