EU Ports traffic data


Every quarter, more than 50 European port authorities voluntarily submit their traffic data through the ESPO Rapid Exchange System. Since 2015, we do not publish the statistics data on our website anymore, but we send them by mail every quarter to a dedicated mailing list. If you would like to be part of this mailing list, please send a mail to

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 (tons) 
  • Total liquid bulk (tons)
  • Total dry bulk (tons)
  • Total general cargo (tons)
  • Containers (tons, TEU)
  • Passengers

You can download here the RES data:
2015: Quarters 1, 2, 3 and 4
2014: Quarter 1, Quarter 2, Quarter 3, Quarter 4

The Rapid Exchange System (RES) is an ESPO initiative. Today, we can count on more than 50 participating ports. We encourage more port authorities to join this voluntary exchange of data. Instructions to participate in RES can be found here.

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.
ESPO also provides Market developments figures in the annual report. These figures are compiled by Eurostat and ESPO.

Market developments in figures for 2012 - 2015


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)
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 a direct link to the users' manual.

In addition, Eurostat publishes Statistics Explained:

  • Maritime ports freight and passenger statistics (annual data) - link here
  • Maritime transport of goods (quarterly data) - link here

European Port Governance

The report “Trends in EU ports Governance 2016” 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.

This publication only compiles selected findings. ESPO is working with the data resulting from the survey to create a more permanent platform to illustrate and monitor trends in the EU port sector. This extensive work, that is of added value to both the port industry and policy makers, is being produced in the context of the PORTOPIA project, which is a collaborative FP7 project co-financed by the European Commission of which ESPO is one of the main partners.

“Trends in EU ports Governance 2016” can be found here.
The previous edition dates back to 2010 here.