(18 March 2014) – Rotterdam for goods handling and Dover for passengers were the EU busiest ports in 2012.
Among the top ten EU cargo ports in terms of tonnes of goods handled, Rotterdam (396 million tonnes weight of goods handled) was the busiest in 2012, followed by Antwerp (165 mn tonnes, -2%), Hamburg (114 mn tonnes, -1%), Marseille (82 mn tonnes, -3%) and Algeciras (75 mn tonnes, +8%).
Dover (12 mn passengers, -7% compared with 2011) was the busiest port in terms of the number of passengers disembarking or embarking in 2012, followed by Paloukia Salaminas and Perama (both 11 mn, -2%), Helsinki (11 mn, +3%), Calais (9 mn, -7%) and Stockholm (9 mn, -1%).
After growing steadily between 2002 and 2007, the total weight of goods handled in maritime ports in the EU remained nearly stable at 3.9 billion tonnes in 2008. It then fell by 12% in 2009, coinciding with the beginning of the financial crisis. From 2010, the weight of goods handled increased again, to reach 3.8 bn tonnes in 2011, and then decreased slightly to 3.7 bn tonnes in 2012.
The pattern is different for sea transport of passengers. The number of passengers embarking or disembarking in maritime ports in the EU remained relatively stable from 2002 to 2008, except for a fall in 2005. From 2008, the number of passengers has decreased steadily from 439 million passengers to 398 mn in 2012.