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Information on ship arrivals, foreign and domestic travel and cargo for 2021.

January 2021 marked the formal departure of the UK from the EU Single Market and Customs Union, while some ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions may have also had an impact on sea transport during 2021.

Main points

The chart shows time series indices on changes in sea freight and passengers overtime.
  • In 2021, total freight tonnage at Welsh ports decreased by 8.2% over the year to 47.0 million tonnes (Mt).
  • Of the total freight tonnage at major ports in Wales, 87.2% was international traffic with just over three quarters (76.8%) of this international traffic being imports.
  • Welsh ports act as a gateway between the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe, though HGV movements declined in 2021. 33.1% (0.23Mt) of goods carried on Irish registered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) between the Republic of Ireland and Europe passed through Wales, compared with 80.0% (0.5Mt) in 2020.
  • In 2021, sea passenger traffic increased by 6.1% compared to 2020 following a decrease of 60.3% between 2019 and 2020 during the early stages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Sea transport: 2021 , file type: PDF, file size: 2 MB

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Datasets and interactive tools


James Khonje

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