Great Britain, an island nation, has a large number of ports on the coast. These are all very different in size and types of cargo, with shipping and trade being of the utmost importance.

438 Million Tonnes

Tonnage handled by UK ports increased 1% in 2019 compared to the previous year
The EU remained the UK’s largest trading partner. In 2019 it accounted for 41% (196.9 million tons) of all major port traffic. This is an increase of 1% compared to previous years. Tonnage handled by UK ports decreased 9% year over year in 2020, averaging around 438 million tonnes, with 44% (190 million tonnes) coming from the EU region. For 2021 it looks like a further decrease in the tonnage handled by British ports, as these statistics will not be published until summer 2022.

Top UK Ports

Top UK ports are Port of Felixstowe. This is the busiest port, handling 48% of the country’s container trade. Other ports are the Port of Southampton, Port of London, Port of Immingham and Port of Immingham.

The Top Ports in the EU are:

  • shipping-ports-euPort of Rotterdam, Hollan
  • Port of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Port of Hamburg, Germany
  • Port of Bremen or Bremerhaven, Germany
  • Port of Algeciras, Spain
  • Port of Piraeus, Greece
  • Größte Hafen Europas

The port of Rotterdam is currently the largest port in Europe and therefore the sixth largest in the world. Germany’s largest port is Hamburg and Italy’s largest port is Port of Gioia Tauro. In total, the EU has over 1200 seaports.

Half of the EU’s trade in goods is carried out by sea, with Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg being the busiest cargo ports. Around 53% of EU imports entered the EU by sea. The best seaports in Europe are Holland and Finland, which are included in the top 5.

The European Federation of Inland Ports unites almost 200 inland ports and port authorities in 18 countries of the European Union, Switzerland, Serbia and the Ukraine.

Sourcing for large and small businesses

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