Publication - Statistics

Marine economic statistics 2017: corrected April 2020

Statistics on economic contributions of Scotland’s marine sectors present a time series of Gross Value Added (GVA), turnover and employment for industrial categories defined as part of the marine sector. This publication was originally published in October 2019 and was corrected in April 2020.

Marine economic statistics 2017: corrected April 2020
9. Sea & Coastal Water Transport

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 quarter of Scotland's total freight tonnage, including exports, was carried by water transport in 2017.[9]

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.

and

  • 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 2017, passenger water transport generated £90 million in GVA: accounting for 0.07% of the overall Scottish economy and 2% of the marine economy GVA.

The passenger water transport industry provided employment for 1,100 people (headcount), contributing 0.04% of the total Scottish employment and 1% of the marine economy employment.

9.4 Passenger water transport - trends

From 2016 to 2017, the GVA from passenger water transport (adjusted to 2017 prices) increased by 43%, while the longer term trend from 2008 to 2017 showed that passenger water transport GVA fluctuates from year to year, but fell by 8%. Employment in 2017 fell to 1,100, its lowest in the series, from a high of 1,800 in 2014. From 2008 to 2017, employment fell by 27%.

Table 12 : Passenger water transport - GVA, turnover, employment and GVA per head, 2008 to 2017 (2017 prices)
Year GVA
£M
Turnover
£M
Employment Headcount
000's
GVA Per Worker
£
2008 97 317 1.5 64,676
2009 79 381 1.6 49,610
2010 88 265 1.5 58,912
2011 51 390 1.5 34,122
2012 100 335 1.5 66,617
2013 97 373 1.6 60,688
2014 131 345 1.8 72,842
2015 91 227 1.7 53,633
2016 63 176 1.4 44,911
2017 90 200 1.1 81,545
Figure 13 : Passenger water transport - GVA and employment (headcount), 2008 to 2017 (2017 prices)
Figure 13 : Passenger water transport - GVA and employment (headcount), 2008 to 2017 (2017 prices)

Transport Scotland statistics (Figure 14) show that the number of passengers in 2017 has slightly increased from 2008, while the number of vehicles increased by 13%.

Figure 14: Passenger water transport - numbers of passengers and vehicles carried on ferry routes, 2008 to 2017
Figure 14: Passenger water transport - numbers of passengers and vehicles carried on ferry routes, 2008 to 2017

Source: Transport Scotland from ferry operators (not National Statistics)[10]

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 2017 around half 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 to Dunoon, also on the West coast and carried 13% of passenger traffic, Shetland Island services carried 8% of passengers. The rest of the passengers carried in 2017 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 12% 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.

  • 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 2017 freight water transport generated £45 million GVA: accounting for 0.034% of the overall Scottish economy and 1% of the marine economy GVA.

The freight water transport industry provided employment for around 500 people (headcount), contributing 0.02% of the total Scottish employment and 1% of the marine economy employment.

9.8 Freight water transport - trends

From 2016 to 2017 the GVA from freight water transport (adjusted to 2017 prices) fell by 35%, while the longer term trend from 2008 to 2017 showed that freight water transport GVA fell by 70%. GVA reached a peak of £192 million in 2011, falling to £45 million in 2017.

Table 13 : Freight water transport - GVA, turnover, employment and GVA per head, 2008 to 2017 (2017 prices)
Year GVA
£M
Turnover
£M
Employment Headcount
000's

GVA Per Head
£

2008 150 448 0.7 214,832
2009 114 374 0.7 162,271
2010 170 334 0.5 340,445
2011 192 388 0.5 384,804
2012 155 272 0.6 257,943
2013 78 374 0.6 130,106
2014 87 282 0.9 96,310
2015 86 247 0.6 143,286
2016 69 186 0.5 137,592
2017 45 118 0.5 90,000

From 2008 to 2017, employment fell by 29%, from a high of 900 people in 2014 to 500 in 2017.

Figure 15 : Freight water transport - GVA and employment (headcount), 2008 to 2017 (2017 prices)
Figure 15 : Freight water transport - GVA and employment (headcount), 2008 to 2017 (2017 prices)

Figure 16 shows Transport Scotland's statistics for the tonnage of freight traffic through Scottish ports. There were 67 million tonnes of freight handled by ports in Scotland in 2017, a 3% reduction on 2016. However, between 2008 and 2017 the total tonnage of freight traffic through Scottish ports reduced by 36%.

Figure 16 : Freight water transport - freight tonnage through Scottish ports, 2008 - 2017
Figure 16 : Freight water transport - freight tonnage through Scottish ports, 2008 - 2017

Source: DfT Maritime and shipping statistics Table PORT0101

9.9 Freight water transport - by geography

The highest freight traffic in 2017 was through Forth ports (43% of tonnage through the top 11 ports), Clyde ports (14%) and Glensanda (10%).

Table 14: Distribution of total freight tonnages through Scotland's 11 major ports, 2017
Port Tonnage % of total tonnage through Scotland's top 11 ports
Aberdeen 4,058 6%
Cairnryan 2,847 4%
Clyde 8,865 14%
Cromarty Firth 227 0%
Dundee 566 1%
Forth 27,544 43%
Glensanda 6,138 10%
Orkney 4,852 8%
Peterhead 1,288 2%
Stranraer / Loch Ryan 2,388 4%
Sullom Voe 5,179 8%
Total 63,952 100%

Source: Transport Scotland, Scottish Transport Statistics No 37 2018 Edition


Contact

Email: Venetia.Haynes@gov.scot