The UK ports industry, by virtue of our long coastline and maritime history, is the largest in Europe. The scale of diversity of port operations in the UK is impressive ranging from all purpose facilities to container ports along with bulk, ferry and cruise terminals.
The UK depends on its ports for trade.
Approximately 96% of the volume of all UK import/export trade enters the UK through its ports. In addition, some 32 million international passengers use UK ports every year while another 38 million use them for domestic journeys. The ports industry makes a valuable contribution to the UK economy and is critical to the growth of the regions it serves. The UK ports industry has undergone a successful transformation.
The UK Government has allowed ports to be independently or privately run and this initiative has set a benchmark for the global ports industry. The private sector operates 15 of the largest 20 UK ports by tonnage and around two-thirds of the UK’s port traffic.
Much of the tonnage handled is concentrated in a small number of ports, with the top 15 ports accounting for almost 80% of the UK’s total traffic. Many countries across the globe are now demanding the services of the sector to help repeat the recent successes of the UK ports.