Publication - Statistics

Scotland's marine economic statistics 2018

Statistics on the economic contributions of Scotland’s marine sectors in 2018. Includes a time series of Gross Value Added (GVA), turnover and employment for industrial categories defined as part of the marine sector.

74 page PDF

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74 page PDF

2.4 MB

Contents
Scotland's marine economic statistics 2018
9. Sea & coastal water transport

74 page PDF

2.4 MB

9. Sea & coastal water transport

9.1 Introduction

This sector includes passenger and freight transport, though they are discussed separately. Inland water transport is not included. Sea and coastal water transport is an essential part of Scotland's transport network. It is key for connectivity and supports both island and mainland communities. One third of Scotland's total freight tonnage, including exports, was carried by water transport in 2018 [8].  

Supplementary water transport information is taken from the Transport Scotland Scottish Transport Statistics publication, supported by data from the Department of Transport statistics.   

9.2 Passenger water transport – description

Sea and coastal passenger water transport includes the transport of passengers on vessels designed for operating on sea or coastal waters. 

It includes:

  • transport of passengers over seas and coastal waters, whether scheduled or not,
  • operation of excursion, cruise or sightseeing boats,
  • operation of ferries, water taxis etc.,
  • renting of pleasure boats with crew for sea and coastal water transport (e.g. for fishing cruises).

This class excludes:

  • restaurant and bar activities on board ships, when provided by separate units,
  • renting of pleasure boats and yachts without crew, 
  • renting of commercial ships or boats without crew,
  • operation of "floating casinos".

The sea and coastal water transport categories are not included in the Marine tourism sector so the values are not double counted.  

9.3 Passenger water transport – economic key points

In 2018, passenger water transport generated £83 million in GVA: accounting for 0.06% of the overall Scottish economy and 2% of the marine economy GVA. The passenger water transport industry provided employment for 1,500 people (headcount), contributing 0.06% of the total Scottish employment and 2% of the marine economy employment. 

9.4 Passenger water transport – trends

From 2017 to 2018, the GVA from passenger water transport (adjusted to 2018 prices) decreased by 5%, while the longer term trend from 2009 to 2018 showed that passenger water transport GVA fluctuates from year to year, but rose by 2%. Employment in 2018 rose by 36% to 1,500, following the ten year low in 2017. From 2009 to 2018, employment fell by 6%. 

Table 12: Passenger water transport  - GVA, turnover, employment and GVA per head, 2009 to 2018 (2018 prices)
Year GVA Turnover Employment GVA Per Head
£M £M  '000s £
2009 81 391 1.6 50,823
2010 91 271 1.5 60,374
2011 52 399 1.5 34,959
2012 102 343 1.5 68,185
2013 99 382 1.6 62,123
2014 134 353 1.8 74,482
2015 93 232 1.7 54,772
2016 64 179 1.4 45,790
2017 87 203 1.1 79,295
2018 83 305 1.5 55,467
Figure 13: Passenger water transport – GVA and employment (headcount),  2009 to 2018 (2018 prices)
Figure 13 - Chart showing trends from 2009 to 2018 in the passenger water transport sector GVA and employment. GVA shown at 2018 prices.

Transport Scotland statistics (Figure 14) show that the number of passengers in 2018 has increased by less than 1% from 2009, while the number of vehicles increased by 10%.   

Figure 14: Passenger water transport - numbers of passengers and vehicles carried on ferry routes, 2009 to 2018
Figure 14 - Chart showing trends from 2009 to 2018 in the number of passengers and vehicles carried on ferry routes.

Source: Transport Scotland from ferry operators (not National Statistics)[9]

9.5 Passenger water transport – by geography

Transport Scotland report these services by operator rather than location, meaning that these statistics show a broad distribution of ferry business rather than a precise disaggregation. In 2018, around 51% of the passenger journeys were on the Caledonian MacBrayne services in the West of Scotland, between the mainland of Scotland and 22 of the major islands on Scotland's west coast. The next highest service was between Gourock and Dunoon, also on the West coast and carried 13% of passenger traffic, Shetland Island services carried 7% of passengers. The rest of the passengers carried in 2018 travelled on other services. The vehicle transport distribution is similar to passenger transport, with 44% on the Caledonian MacBrayne services in the West of Scotland, 19% between Gourock to Dunoon and 11% on Shetland Island services.  

9.6 Freight water transport – description

This group includes the transport of freight on vessels designed for operating on sea or coastal waters. It includes:

  • transport of freight over seas and coastal waters, whether scheduled or not,
  • transport by towing or pushing of barges, oil rigs etc.,
  • renting of vessels with crew for sea and coastal freight water transport.

It excludes:

  • storage of freight,
  • harbour operation and other auxiliary activities such as docking, pilotage, lighterage, vessel salvage,
  • cargo handling,
  • renting of commercial ships or boats without crew.

9.7 Freight water transport – economic key points

In 2018, freight water transport generated £94 million GVA: accounting for 0.07% of the overall Scottish economy and 2% of the marine economy GVA

The freight water transport industry provided employment for around 400 people (headcount), contributing 0.02% of the total Scottish employment and 0.5% of the marine economy employment. 

9.8 Freight water transport – trends

From 2017 to 2018, the GVA from freight water transport (adjusted to 2018 prices) increased by 117%, while the longer term trend from 2009 to 2018 showed that freight water transport GVA fell by 19%. GVA reached a peak of £197 million in 2011, and fell to a low of £43 million in 2017.  

Table 13: Freight water transport  - GVA, turnover, employment and GVA per head, 2009 to 2018 (2018 prices)
Year GVA Turnover Employment GVA Per Head
£M £M  '000s £
2009 116 383 0.7 166,238
2010 174 343 0.5 348,895
2011 197 398 0.5 394,242
2012 158 279 0.6 264,013
2013 80 383 0.6 133,182
2014 89 288 0.9 98,477
2015 88 252 0.6 146,331
2016 70 190 0.5 140,285
2017 43 119 0.5 86,816
2018 94 300 0.4 235,000

From 2009 to 2018, employment fell by 43%, from a high of 900 people in 2014 to 400 in 2018.

Figure 15: Freight water transport - GVA and employment (headcount), 2009 to 2018 (2018 prices)
Figure 15 - Chart showing trends from 2009 to 2018 in the freight water transport sector GVA and employment. GVA shown at 2018 prices.

Figure 16 shows Transport Scotland's statistics for the tonnage of freight traffic through Scottish ports. There were 65 million tonnes of freight handled by ports in Scotland in 2018, a 3% reduction on 2017. However, between 2009 and 2018 the total tonnage of freight traffic through Scottish ports reduced by 24%.  

Figure 16: Freight water transport – freight tonnage through Scottish ports, 2009 – 2018
Figure 16 - Chart showing trends from 2009 to 2018 in freight tonnage through Scottish ports.

Source: DfT Maritime and shipping statistics  Table PORT0101.

9.9 Freight water transport – by geography

The highest freight traffic in 2018 was through Forth ports (43% of tonnage through the top 11 ports), Clyde ports (15%) and Glensanda (10%). 

Table 14: Distribution of total freight tonnages through Scotland's 11 major ports, 2018 
Port Tonnage % of total tonnage through Scotland's top 11 ports
Aberdeen 4,138   7%
Cairnryan 2,857   5%
Clyde 9,087   15%
Cromarty Firth 275   0%
Dundee 608   1%
Forth 26,587   43%
Glensanda 5,943   10%
Orkney 3,470   6%
Peterhead 1,131   2%
Stranraer / Loch Ryan 2,546   4%
Sullom Voe 5,329   9%
Total 61,969 100%

Source: Transport Scotland, Scottish Transport Statistics No 38 2019 Edition.


Contact

Email: marineanalysis@gov.scot