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Double Impacts As Brexit and Pandemic Hit UK Port throughput Volumes

14th June 2021
According to UK Government, figures show that total freight tonnage fell 9%, year on year, between January and March According to UK Government, figures show that total freight tonnage fell 9%, year on year, between January and March Credit: Jehan Ashmore

Both the impacts of Brexit and the pandemic have had a negative effect on UK port throughput in the first quarter of 2021.

Statistics released by the Department for Transport show that total freight tonnage fell 9% year on year between January and March to 103.9m tonnes.

Total imports were down 8% to 67.2m tonnes and exports down 11% to 36.6m tonnes.

Despite signs that more freight is shifting modes towards shortsea containerisation to avoid driver shortages and other disruptions, volumes of unitised cargo, which includes ro-ro volumes under DfT calculations, also fell during the quarter.

The total volume of unitised traffic fell by 13% to 4.2m units during the first three months, with imports down 17% to 2.2m units. Outbound volumes fell by a smaller margin of 8% to 2m units.

“This is the first time the industry as a whole has been able to see the aggregate impact of Brexit on port volumes,” said British Ports Association policy manager Phoebe Warneford-Thomson.

LloydsLoadingList has more. 

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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