How shipping shapes up

— Ninety per cent of world trade and 95 per cent of British trade
(£336 billion in 2005) is carried out by the shipping industry.

— In the UK, 28 per cent of national income is traded. Three quarters
of that business occurs at British ports.

— There are about 120 commercial ports in the UK. The British ports
industry is the largest in Europe. Total tonnage is about 570 million
tonnes a year.

— International passenger traffic is about 30 million a year.

— Total traffic is growing at roughly 2 per cent.

— British ports directly employ around 73,500 people.

— The UK owns 2,057 vessels (that weigh more than 100 gross tonnes) –
709 of these are trading vessels.

— In 1994, 106 sailors died in bulk-ship accidents. By 2004 it had fallen to 30.

— One of the largest recent disasters was in 2006, when about 1,300
tonnes of fuel oil were leaked near the Black Sea after a Russian oil
tanker split in half in a storm. All of its crew were rescued.

— In January 2007, the MSC Napoli ran aground off the coast of Devon.
The public were banned from the beach after scavengers carried away
hundreds of items such as motorbikes, face cream, wine and nappies.

Source: United Kingdom Major Ports Group, Department for Transport