Supplementary memorandum by the Department
of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (P 28B)
OPPORTUNITIES AND DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS AT
The ETRAC Transport sub-committee raised concerns
relating to the current coverage of port statistics compiled by
the Department. This memorandum outlines the current situation
regarding availability of statistical material and outlines what
the Department plans to do in the near future.
The main information on ports collected and
analysed by the Department relates to the volume of cargo and
passengers at UK ports. Traditionally this has been collected
annually by means of a survey of port operators with detailed
analyses published in the annual Maritime Statistics publication
in October. Some information has also been made available relating
to characteristics of ships using UK ports, based on data purchased
from Lloyd's Maritime Information Services.
From 1 January 2000 a new system for collecting
port traffic statistics was introduced in order to meet the overall
requirements of an EU Directive on maritime statistics.
The new system requires cargo and passenger statistics to be compiled
for ports on a quarterly basis by route and additionally captures
information which allows traffic statistics to be related to ship
The work on both the Modern Ports policy paper
and Focus on Ports pointed to a number of areas in which the statistical
information that is available is either ambiguous or incomplete.
The relevant issues can be summarised as follows.
No precise data exist on employment at ports.
In theory the Labour Force Survey collects some information on
occupations and industry worked in. However these use standard
codes which do not have a one-to-one correspondence with port-related
(ii) Health and Safety
There are no precise statistics available on
accidents occurring at ports. The information collected by the
HSE is based on a secondary analysis of reports classified under
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 63220 (Other Supporting
Water Transport Activities). The denominator for calculating accident
rates is also based on employment within SIC 63220.
(a) Physical attributes
Although industry publications provide information
on the facilities available at some ports, it is difficult to
extract this information meaningfully or consistently when comparing
(b) Transport related
No reliable or comprehensive statistics are
available on the movement of goods to and from ports by mode of
(iv) Economic Data
There are no readily available statistics on
revenue and expenditure at ports although some partial information
may be available in published company annual reports. Some information
on capital expenditure on publicly owned ports is published in
Table 1.16 of Transport Statistics Great Britain publication.
(v) Transhipment at container ports
The Department's port traffic statistics do
not allow us to measure the level of transhipment at container
Data relating to (i) to (iii) were formerly
collected by surveys conducted by the National Ports Council and
then the British Ports Federation. These provided reasonably comprehensive
data by port. Since then however, no systematic collection of
information has taken place.
The Department is considering the feasibility
of initiating two separate data collection activities.
The first relates to a survey of expenditure
by ships calling at UK ports to be carried out jointly with the
Office for National Statistics. This survey, which was carried
out previously in 1996, aims to provide information on various
types of port expenditure (eg pilotage, port dues, stevedoring
etc) on a port by port basis according to vessel type. The intention
is to conduct the survey from mid-2001 onwards.
The second concerns a possible survey of port
infrastructure, economic and employment data to port operators
to be carried out by the Department along the lines of the former
NPC and BPF surveys but updated to take account of changes that
have occurred in the industry. Such a survey will also provide
robust and comparable data that can be used for benchmarking ports.
As a first step, the feasibility of undertaking such a survey
will be discussed with the industry.
In addition to these two proposed initiatives,
the Department is committed to making best use of the additional
cargo data that are now available following implementation of
the EU Maritime Statistics Directive. For the first time detailed
statistics will be available on cargo flows by route with the
potential to link vessel characteristics to these movements. There
are plans to discuss our dissemination proposals with both data
providers and potential users of the information.
The Committee also asked whether the Department
will make Focus on Ports available on a website. The Department
is discussing with the publishers of Focus on Ports, The Stationery
Office, the mechanism for making the publication accessible via
the Departmental website.
It is intended that Focus on Ports will be a
regular publication updated every three years or so.
Maritime Statistics Branch
33 Council Directive 95/64/EC on statistical returns
in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea. Back