>> Transpacific - port coverage from April 1st.more.

>> Are direct services becoming less attractive for shipping lines?. more.

>> What happens to the small ships post Panama Canal expansion?. more.

>> Maersk to acquire Hamburg-Sud and reinforce its presence on the Latin America routes. more.

>>£0.5 trillion of trade passes through UK ports. More.

>> The future of rail freight and private investment. More.

>> The Northern Freight and Logistics report. More. 

>> Oxford Cambridge Expressway Study. More.

>> The potential impact of Brexit on trade. More.

>> India - the impact of shipping lines’ consolidation and the cabotage rule change. More.

>> Iran – changes in maritime services post-sanctions. more.

>> 'India: The only way is up' say MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> Hanjin’s collapse - A wake-up call to the industry? More.

>> Peak season 2016: could the seemingly more rational shipping lines restore stability to the market?. More.

>> Panama Canal Expansion: the major announcements so far have been made by the CKYHE Alliance and G6 Alliance: each have indicated the upsizing of some of their vessels on the services passing through the Panama Canal as shown in MDS Transmodal's analysis. More.

>> CMA-CGM’s acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines and Cosco’s merger with China Shipping Container Line (CSCL), prompted the need for a few changes in the current capacity-sharing agreements amongst the shipping lines. More.

>> MDST has been appointed by Transport for the North (TfN), in partnership with York Aviation and Regeneris Consulting, to carry out a review of international passenger connectivity in the North of England. More.

>> Chris Rowland, Managing Director of MDST, presented the draft conclusions from the Transport for the North (TfN) Freight & Logistics Strategy at the Freight in the City Conference in Manchester on 3 March 2016. More.

>> With 22 maritime services, Iran is expected to see an increase of around 250% in the capacity of container shipping passing through its ports in spring 2016, as shipping lines seek to benefit from the removal of sanctions. More.

>> MDST Chairman, Mike Garratt, wrote to the editor of RAIL magazine in March about the future of rail freight in Great Britain. More.

>> MDST has examined the evidence for Chinese ‘dumping’ of steel on the global and UK markets using its World Cargo Database, which allows it to monitor world trade by both volume and value and for detailed commodities. More.

>> East Asia export box trade sees growth of 1.7% in 2015, says MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has published road traffic forecasts which used MDST’s GB Freight Model (GBFM) to develop forecasts to 2040 for HGV traffic on the British road network. More.

>> Ports should be at the centre of distribution chains says MDST. More.

>> Based on its analysis of Eurostat port statistics and its own World Cargo Database, MDS Transmodal has concluded that ports handled 640 million tonnes in 2014, a market share of 40%. More.

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£0.5 trillion of trade passes through UK ports

The ports industry is generally measured through its physical throughput of tonnages, containers or trailers handled. However, while such measurement informs an analysis of market share and provides vital evidence to assist in port planning, design and operations, it does not necessarily convey the role that ports play in the wider economy.  This requires measurement of cargo value and in September MDST published its analysis of the value of trade passing through UK ports.  This shows that the estimated total value of goods passing through UK ports was £511 billion in 2014, compared to GDP for the UK of £1.75 trillion.  

The results from the study were based on available data for trade, VAT returns and port throughput and these data sources were used to estimate the value of goods passing through the major UK ports. As about half of the value of these goods relate to trade with the EU, and therefore do not pass through Customs, this involved some estimation but the results reflect the control totals that are available from the Office for National Statistics and the Department for Transport.

In 2014, UK GDP was measured by the Office for National Statistics at £1.75 trillion, of which 78% were in services, leaving the GDP for goods produced (including construction) at just £385 billion. This means that the total value of goods passing through UK ports, at around £511 billion, actually exceeds the total value added in the UK in the form of goods, with exports of goods at around £227 billion. These figures are not, of course, entirely comparable. The value of exports will include the value of imported components and raw materials while GDP is a net figure reflecting value added. Nevertheless, it is evident that the UK ports industry plays a highly strategic role in the overall economy and this role is only going to increase in importance given the need to extend and enhance trading links with the rest of the world following the Brexit vote.

Highlights from the work are:

  • The top 5 export ports in the UK are Southampton, Dover, Felixstowe, Grimsby & Immingham and Liverpool – and accounted for 63% of the value of goods exported through all the major ports in 2014;
  • The leading export port was Southampton which handled exports to the value of £40 billion;
  • The top 5 import ports – Felixstowe, Grimsby & Immingham, Dover, London and  Southampton - accounted for an estimated 66% of the value of goods imported through all the major ports in 2014;
  • The leading import port was Felixstowe, which handled imports to the value of £45 billion;
  • Felixstowe handled the highest value of trade overall at £75 billion followed by Southampton at £71 billion and Dover at £69 billion.
  • If Heathrow Airport was a port, it would be ranked 4th in terms of the value of its trade at £64 billion.