One platform, all data: PortinSights is ESPO’s new tool for European ports to collect, share, compare and analyse their data. The digital platform includes throughput data, environmental data (EcoPorts) and governance data.

www.portinsights.eu  - Building the knowledge hub of European ports!

In 2018, ESPO launched PortinSights, the online data platform of and for European ports. By gathering RES throughput data, data on port governance and environmental data all in one place, ESPO is building the knowledge hub of European ports. PortinSights has been developed based on the outcome of the FP7 project PORTOPIA, which was co-financed by the European Commission and has been coordinated by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).


The Rapid Exchange System (RES) is an ESPO initiative and has been integrated in PortinSights in 2018. Every quarter European port authorities voluntarily submit their traffic data by means of the Rapid Exchange System. Market development figures (by port and traffic segments) are compiled by Eurostat and ESPO and can be found in the publically available ESPO Annual Reports.

The ESPO Rapid data Exchange System includes quarterly data on the following traffics:

  • Total tonnage: Tonnage of goods carried, including packaging and including the tare weight of containers or ro-ro units (tonnes) 
  • Total liquid bulk (tonnes)
  • Total dry bulk (tonnes)
  • Total general cargo (tonnes)
  • Containers (tonnes, TEU)
  • Number of passengers
  • Number of Vessels

We encourage all our ports to join the voluntary data exchange within PortinSights and welcome all our members to be a part of the knowledge hub of European ports. Practical instructions on how to participate in the PortinSights RES exchange can be found in the Members area or requested at portinsights@espo.be.

Why ESPO data is not always identical to EUROSTAT data: 

  • Eurostat relies on data from the National Competent Authorities (NCAs). The source of ESPO data are the port authorities themselves. 
  • Eurostat disseminates figures on the gross weight of goods handled in the ports (excluding the tare weight of containers and RO-RO units). However, ESPO ports use the gross-gross weight of goods (including the tare weight of containers and RO-RO units). 
  • Eurostat figures on number of TEUs handled only cover Lo-Lo containers (Lifted-on Lifted-off). Ro-Ro containers (Rolled-on Rolled-off) are counted as Ro-Ro units. ESPO data reports number of containers in TEU independently of the kind of vessel transporting them. 
  • Eurostat's maritime statistics are strictly limited to handling of goods related to seaborne transport. Any handling of inland waterway goods in ports is excluded. 
  • In addition, there might be differences in coverage of actual port facilities included in Eurostat's definition of a "statistical port" and the facilities included in the figures of a port authority.

Quarterly reports

PortinSights currently represents over 70% of the total EU-27 throughput (measured in tonnes) and includes about 90 ports. Starting with the first quarter of 2023, you will be able to find links to the quarterly reports of the different port ranges in this section. Each report lists the included ports, but the volumes are aggregated by the following port ranges: Baltic, Black Sea, Hamburg-Le Havre, Mediterranean, North Sea/North Atlantic and South Atlantic.


EUROSTAT data on port level is available in several tables in the Eurostat online database, the main ones being the quarterly tables for transport of goods and passengers (covering main EU ports) and the annual tables for transport of goods and passengers (covering all EU ports handling goods/passengers):

  • mar_go_qm (goods, quarterly)
  • mar_pa_qm (passengers, quarterly)
  • mar_go_aa (goods, annual)
  • mar_pa_aa (passengers, annual)

In 2017, Eurostat added 14 new tables in order to disseminate quarterly data, including a table presenting detailed quarterly data by type of cargo (mar_go_qmc) and a set of 13 tables presenting quarterly data at various aggregation levels (mar_q).

By clicking on the following link, you will reach Eurostat, which is part of the general services of the European Commission and provides statistics on various topics, including maritime transport. Click here for articles on maritime statistics.

European Port Governance

The report “Trends in EU ports' Governance 2022” compiles key findings of the last ESPO fact finding survey on the governance and organisation of EU ports. In addition to the latest trends in ownership, management and key functions of port authorities, this edition also looks at the role port authorities play in the energy transition, as home and key partners of industrial players, and at innovation and sustainability of port operations.

ESPO is working with the data resulting from the survey to create a more permanent data collection, which is being included in PortinSights to illustrate and monitor trends in the EU port sector. This extensive work is of added value to both the port industry and policy makers, and will facilitate future data collection.

“Trends in EU ports Governance 2022” can be found here.
The previous edition dates back to 2016 here.


EcoPorts is the main environmental initiative of the European port sector. This network was initiated by a number of proactive ports in 1997 and has been fully integrated into the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) since 2011. The founding principle of EcoPorts is to create a level playing field on environment through cooperation and sharing of knowledge between ports. EcoPorts provides two well-established tools to its members.

ESPO publishes a yearly Environmental Report, featuring selected environmental indicators from the EcoPorts Network. Based on the findings of the Report, a yearly Top 10 Environmental Priorities of European Ports is also established. In addition, the EcoPorts data is included in the PortinSights platform, which gives EU ports the tools to benchmark themselves and to visualise their performance graphically. 

Below you can find one other publication linked to Environmental Facts and Figures:

EcoPorts website


The PORTOPIA project, which started in 2013, aimed at the development of key performance data for European ports and the accompanying ICT tools facilitating data collection and analysis, assisting the industry in moving towards a more sustainable and competitive port system. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.

Based on the 4-year project, four main tools were produced and tested by port stakeholders, using state-of-the-art Cloud technology: the Rapid Exchange System+, the environmental dashboards, port governance trends analysis and a user perception measurement tool. In terms of indicators and insights in several perspectives, two integrated industry performance reports, with clear links to port policy and strategy, were presented. The 2017 EU Port Industry Sustainability Report is available here. The report offers both insights from project generated data through the tools developed, and further includes other elements such as EU-tailored insights from the World Bank, UNCTAD and World Economic Forum tools and publications.

Beyond the developed tools, statistics and the indicators, PORTOPIA has foremost dealt with creating a culture of transparency and trust, as well as value-creating technologies to deal with performance and analysis. It therefore lies a solid basis for further developments highlighting the performance of the European seaport industry to their stakeholders, supporting better relations and improved strategic decision-making on the individual, regional and international level when it comes to the management of port infrastructure and services.

All public deliverables can be found here.

Project partners:

  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Administrative and scientific coordinator
  • European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO)
  • Regionale Economie, Haven en Vervoerseconomie BV – Erasmus School of Economics Rotterdam
  • Fraunhofer – Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V.
  • Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
  • University of Turku
  • Norsk Marinteknisk Forskninginstitutt A.S. (Marintek)
  • University of the Aegean
  • Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (CERTEC)
  • Glintt Inov
  • Universiteit Antwerpen (ITMMA)
  • University of Genoa (CIELI)