Chapter 3 Freight
Chapter 3 Freight
1.1 This chapter provides an overview of freight carried by road, rail, water and air, such as the weight of goods lifted by origin and destination. Comparisons between modes have been included, as well as specific tables relating to road freight. Rail, water and air freight tables are referenced in their subsequent chapters.
1.2 Road freight information covers road freight lifted by UK-registered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs: over 3.5 tonnes gross weight), such as the weight of goods lifted in Scotland by origin and destination, the lengths of haul, the destinations within the UK and Europe, and the types of commodity lifted. A change in methodology by the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2003 Continuous Survey of Road Goods Transport has resulted in a discontinuity in the series. Therefore road freight transported within the UK from 2004 onwards is not comparable with earlier years.
1.3 The Department for Transport is currently making changes to the methodology for processing road freight data which has resulted in them delaying publication of 2011 data. Therefore, the tables in this section have not been updated. However, the datasets on the Web will be updated in due course.
198.6 tonnes of freight were lifted in Scotland by road, rail and water in 2010. Two thirds of this was carried by road and 14% by pipelines.
In 2010, 38.8 tonnes of freight entered Scotland from elsewhere in the UK and EU.
When measured in million tonne-kilometres (weight by distance travelled), only 37% of freight moved in Scotland was by road, and 39% by coastwise shipping.
2. Main Points
2.1 Freight Movement between Scotland, the UK and EU
2.1.1 The chart above shows total freight, in millions of tonnes, remaining in, entering and leaving Scotland. It includes freight carried by road, rail and water but excludes air as this breakdown was not available. Statistics for road freight lifted in 2011 were not available so this year has been excluded from this analysis.
2.1.2 In 2010, the tonnage of freight leaving Scotland for the UK rose marginally on 2009 to 75.2 million tonnes. This was only the second increase in ten years, although the figure remains 35% lower than in 2000. The weight of goods entering Scotland from elsewhere in the UK and EU increased by 6.9% on the previous year to 38.8 million tonnes but remained around 14% lower than the ten-year high of 45.2 million tonnes in 2006. Volume of goods remaining in Scotland continued to fall in 2010 to 123.4 million tonnes. However, this was only 3% down on 2009, compared to the previous year-on-year drop of 16.7%. (Table S4)
|Total these modes: UK||1.48||1.38||1.50||1.51||1.38||-|
Source: Table S4 Summary of cross-border transport
1. Financial years e.g. 2006-07
2.1.3 Table 3.0 shows the ratio of goods leaving Scotland to those entering, in terms of weight. Where the ratio is greater than 1, this means that more freight left Scotland for a destination than entered Scotland from that destination. This situation is reversed when the ratio is below 1. When all freight is combined, there was a greater tonnage of freight leaving Scotland for both elsewhere in the UK and the EU than arriving from these places. For example, in 2010 2.95 tonnes of freight left Scotland for the EU for every 1 tonne that entered from the EU. Similarly, for every tonne of freight arriving from elsewhere in the UK, 1.38 tonnes were delivered.
2.1.4 In 2010 twice the volume of road freight was moved to the EU than arrived from the EU. However, less freight left Scotland than entered Scotland from the rest of the UK. In both cases this has been the scenario for the last five years.
2.1.5 In terms of rail freight, in 2011 just over two tonnes left Scotland for the rest of the UK for every one tonne entering - an increase on 2009. However, only 0.9 tonnes of rail freight left Scotland for the EU for every tonne that arrived. This ratio has continued to rise since the 2008 low of 0.79 to 1, but remains below that of 2007 when there was more rail freight (in tonnes) leaving than entering from the UK.
2.1.6 In 2012, a higher tonnage of water freight was moved from Scotland to both the UK and EU than entered. The ratio of UK freight leaving rose on 2009 to 3.37 tonnes for every tonne arriving. However, the ratio for EU freight fell to 2.35 to 1, when it was over 3 to 1 in the previous year.
2.2 Freight in Scotland
2.2.1 The following charts show total freight lifted in Scotland, including that remaining in Scotland. (Table H2 a)
2.2.2 In 2010, total freight lifted in Scotland dropped to a 10 year low of 198.6 million tonnes, 21% down on the ten-year high of 250.8 million tonnes in 2007. Road freight remained unchanged on 2009, but was 44.9 million tonnes less than in 2007. Rail freight tonnage has been falling year on year since 2005, having almost halved during this period. Coastwise traffic has also fallen from a high of 25.5 million tonnes in 2005 to 16.3 million tonnes in 2010, down 9% on 2009.
2.2.3 Freight moved can also be measured in terms of millions of tonne-kilometres which takes into account the distance that freight travels as well as the weight. Using this measure, total freight moved dropped to a 10 year low in 2010 of 34,743 million tonne-kilometres, despite a small increase in the road freight category. The main change was in coastwise shipping which fell by 11.5% on 2009 to 13,557 million tonne-kilometres. (Table H2 b)
Figure 3.4: Frieght moved in Scotland in 2010 by mode
2.2.5 In terms of tonnes lifted, much more freight is carried by road than by any other mode of transport. However, a different picture can be seen when account is taken of the distance that freight is carried. In terms of tonne- kilometres, coastwise shipping accounted for the largest amount of freight moved in most years, with road coming second (in 2004 the position was reversed). Rail and pipeline still move smaller amounts of freight than road. However, they represent a higher proportion of the total for road freight when they are measured in tonne-kilometres, because of the greater distance (on average) for which freight is carried by rail and by pipeline.
Figure 3.5: Freight transport: modal shares (% of total tonne-kms)
2.2.6 Table 12.1 in Chapter 12 includes a comparison of freight transport modal shares with other EU countries, using tonne-kilometres. This excludes coastwise shipping so the proportions differ from the charts in Figure 3.4. A comparison of modal shares in Scotland, Great Britain and EU-27 can be found in Figure 3.5. The data shows that road has a low-modal share in Scotland (61.3%) compared with the overall EU-27 figure of 71.8%, and that of the United Kingdom as a whole (83.1%). This is due to the high modal share of pipelines (27.8%, higher than in any EU country) in Scotland. The modal shares of rail and inland waterways in Scotland are both below the overall figures for the EU-27.
2.3 Road Freight Main Points
2.3.1 In 2010, an estimated 116.8 million tonnes of goods were lifted within Scotland by UK HGVs and transported to destinations within Scotland. About 14.8 million tonnes of goods from Scotland were delivered to destinations elsewhere in the UK in 2010, 2.2 million tonnes more than in 2009. Around 17.9 million tonnes were brought into Scotland from elsewhere in the UK, an increase of 1.9 million tonnes on 2009. In comparison, the tonnage of international road freight travelling into and out of Scotland from/to the EU is very small: less than 1 million tonnes in total in 2010. (Table 3.1)
2.3.2 Most road freight journeys are 50 kilometres or less in length: 31% of freight lifted by road in Scotland in 2010 was carried a distance of no more than 25 kilometres, and 22% travelled over 25 km but no more than 50 km. The average journey distance, which is calculated by dividing the total tonne-kilometres by the total tonnes lifted, was 93 km. (Table 3.2)
2.3.3 Goods moved on journeys originating in Scotland with a destination in Scotland accounted for around 7.2 billion tonne-kilometres in 2010. The overall total, including journeys with destinations elsewhere in the UK and abroad, was around 12.7 billion tonne-kms, an increase on the same figure for 2009. (Table 3.3)
2.3.4 In 2010, 17.9 million tonnes of goods entered Scotland on UK HGVs from the rest of the UK. 97% of these came from England. Around three quarters of the goods entering came from the North West (43%), North East (16%) and Yorkshire and Humber (16%) regions of England. Fewer goods leave Scotland for other UK countries (14.8 million tonnes) than enter from them (17.9 million tonnes) but the proportions going to and coming from different areas are similar. (Table 3.4)
2.3.5 In 2010, 'minerals and building materials' was the largest single category of goods lifted in Scotland which remained in Scotland, accounting for 35.0 million tonnes out of the total of 116.8 million tonnes. (Table 3.5)
2.3.6 In 2010, UK-registered HGVs carried an estimated 391 thousand tonnes of goods from Scotland to countries out-with the UK, and 182 thousand tonnes from foreign countries into Scotland. Of goods leaving Scotland for abroad, 55% went to France and 11% to the Netherlands. For goods entering Scotland from abroad 28% came from the Netherlands and 27% from France. (Table 3.6)
2.3.7 The number of HGV's licensed in 2012 fell by 500 on 2011 to 28,900. This is a 12% fall from the ten year high of 33,000 in 2006. 70% of goods vehicle operators have only one or two vehicles registered on their license, with only 1% of operators having more than 50 vehicles registered. (Chapter 1 - Tables 1.8 and 1.10)
2.4 Rail Freight Main Points
2.4.1 In 2011-12, 7.6 million tonnes of freight was lifted in Scotland by rail, 9% less than the previous year, and half the level of the 2005-06 peak. Of all rail freight lifted in Scotland, two-thirds was delivered within Scotland and 29% was delivered elsewhere in the UK. In 2005-06 these proportions were reversed with only one third remaining in Scotland and 63% going elsewhere in the UK. Only around 5% of total rail freight was delivered out-with the UK in 2011-12, similar to the percentage in previous years. (Chapter 7 - Table 7.12)
2.4.2 In 2011-12, coal and other minerals accounted for 4.2 million tonnes (55%) of the freight lifted in Scotland. This has more than halved since the 2005-06 level of 10.8 million tonnes which made up 75% of all rail freight. Dividing the number of tonne-kilometres by the number of tonnes gives an average length of haul of 199 kilometres for traffic remaining in Scotland, 332 kilometres for traffic to other parts of the UK, and 716 kilometres for traffic destined for out- with the UK. (Chapter 7 - Table 7.12)
2.5 Water Freight Main Points
2.5.1 In 2011, a total of 52.1 million tonnes of freight was recorded as being lifted by water transport in Scotland: 16.3 million tonnes of coastwise traffic, 2.4 million tonnes of one port traffic, and 33.4 million tonnes of exports from the major Scottish ports. Only 10.7 million tonnes of waterborne freight was carried for part of its journey on inland waterways in 2011. Compared with 2010, there was a 9% decrease in coastwise traffic and the tonnage of port exports fell by 16%. (Chapter 9 - Table 9.1)
2.5.2 There has been a downward trend in the tonnage of foreign exports over the past decade, falling by over 50% since 2002 to 32.1 million tonnes. Outward domestic freight traffic continued to fall in 2012, dropping 18% on the previous year's low to 15.1 million tonnes, and by nearly 60% since the ten year high in 2005. In 2012, foreign imports were at the highest level since 2006, increasing by 14% on 2011 to 16.3 million tonnes. Inward domestic freight traffic increased by 18% in 2012 to 9.4 million tonnes but remained almost half of that recorded 10 years earlier. (Chapter 9 - Table 9.2)
2.5.3 Traffic through East Coast ports exhibited a downwards trend between 2000 and 2012, falling by 57% from 110.0 million to 47.4 million tonnes. This was mainly due to large falls in traffic at Orkney, Sullom Voe and Forth, which fell by 92%, 70% and 38% respectively across the period. However, traffic through West Coast ports increased by 50% across the same period from 16.9 million to 25.4 million tonnes, mainly due to traffic through Clyde more than doubling to 15.4 million tonnes in 2012. (Chapter 9 - Table 9.5)
2.5.4 Crude oil made up 63% of foreign exports in 2012, as well as 36% and 37% of domestic inwards and outwards traffic respectively. Coal was the main foreign import, comprising 40% of all import traffic. (Chapter 9 - Table 9.7)
2.6 Air Freight Main Points
2.6.1 Air freight carried in 2012 increased by 16% on the previous year to 52,200 tonnes. Freight through Glasgow Prestwick fell by 13% to 10,314 tonnes. Glasgow traffic on the other hand almost quadrupled, rising from 2,430 in 2011 to 9,497 tonnes in 2012, moving it above Aberdeen to become the third busiest airport in terms of air freight lifted behind Edinburgh and Prestwick. (Chapter 8 - Table 8.13)
3. Notes and Definitions
3.1 The following notes and definitions refer to the road freight tables included in this chapter, although most are relevant to other forms of freight. For notes and definitions specific to rail (Chapter 7), air (Chapter 8), or water (Chapter 9) freight, see the relevant chapter.
3.2 Origin and destination: these refer to the origins and destinations of the trips that were recorded in the surveys. These are not necessarily the ultimate origins and destinations of the goods (a trip on a vehicle which was in the sample may represent only one stage in the journey of a consignment: goods may have been trans-shipped on a number of occasions).
3.3 Entering Scotland and leaving Scotland: goods are classified on the basis of the origin and the destination of the trip: for example, a trip is counted as entering Scotland if the origin is outwith Scotland and the destination is within Scotland. It follows that trips which are made via Scotland, such as trips between Northern Ireland and England, are counted neither as entering Scotland nor as leaving Scotland, because neither the origin nor the destination is within Scotland.
3.4 Remaining in Scotland: goods for which both the origin and the destination of the trip are within Scotland (they may, of course, leave Scotland on a later trip).
3.5 Length of haul: this information relates to individual vehicle trips, and not to the total distance that the goods may have travelled.
3.6 Goods lifted: these represent the total weight of goods loaded (in tonnes), and take no account of the distance for which the goods are carried. In cases where goods which had been carried on one HGV are later loaded onto another HGV, they will be counted as being lifted twice.
3.7 Tonne-kilometres: these are calculated for each loaded journey by multiplying the weight of the load by the distance for which it is carried.
3.8 Groupage: This term is used in the analysis by commodity of the road freight entering or leaving the UK. When an HGV has delivered its goods to a destination in another country and does not have a pre-arranged load to transport on the return journey, rather than make the return journey empty, the space is often advertised. As a mixture of goods is usually transported on these occasions, which could not easily be split between the different categories of commodity, it is described as 'groupage'.
3.9 Road Freight Intensity Index (table 3.3): this indicates how the volume of road freight (measured in tonne-kilometres) has been changing relative to the Scottish economy as a whole. For example, the value of the road freight intensity index will rise if the volume of road freight increases more rapidly than the rate at which the Scottish economy grows, or if the volume of road freight rises while the Scottish economy contracts, or if the volume of road freight falls less rapidly than the Scottish economy contracts. The road freight intensity index is an index of the ratio of (i) the index of road freight tonne-kilometres moved by UK HGVs on journeys originating in Scotland to (ii) the index of Scottish Gross Domestic Product (measured in terms of the Gross Value Added for all industries).
4.1 Statistics of freight lifted and moved by road were provided by the Department for Transport, (DfT) from three sample surveys.
4.2 GB HGV Road freight traffic within the UK
4.2.1 Information about domestic road freight traffic is obtained from DfT's Continuing Survey of Roads Goods Transport. This collects details of the journeys that were made by a sample of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs: vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross weight). HGVs account for over 90% of road freight activity, the rest being carried by small commercial vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes gross weight.
4.2.2 Each week, a number of HGVs are randomly selected from the computer records of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (and the corresponding Northern Ireland body). The sample is stratified by vehicle type, and (within vehicle type) spread evenly over a number of geographical areas, in order that the survey will produce reasonably accurate estimates for each category of vehicle, and for each of the geographical areas. A questionnaire is sent to each selected vehicle's registered keeper, asking for information about the vehicle, and about every trip that it made in a sample week. The sample weeks are spread evenly across the year.
4.2.3 The origins and destinations are reported in the survey as (e.g.) the names of towns. DfT uses a computerised gazetteer to check the lengths of the routes between these places, and to determine the appropriate Region or Island Area for each Scottish origin and destination. DfT did not record origins and destinations in terms of the new Council areas in 2003 or earlier years. Following the completion of local government reorganisation across Britain, DfT has coded to Local Administrative Unit 1 (LAU1) areas from 2004. LAU1 are a classification of areas that is used to produce statistics for the European Union and there are 41 of these areas in Scotland. LAU1 areas were previously known as NUTS4 areas)
4.2.4 The results of the survey are grossed-up to produce estimates which represent the total road freight carried during the year as a whole, by all HGVs. This is done quarterly, in two stages. First, the sample vehicles' results are grossed up to the whole HGV population using the ratio of the average number of HGVs in the stratum (from the DVLA and NI records) to the number for which survey results are available (the average number of HGVs in the stratum is the average of the number in the stratum at the start of the quarter and the number at the end of the quarter). Then the results are multiplied by 13, to raise the activity in the sampled week to an estimate for the whole of the quarter.
4.2.5 On average, the survey collects information for about 2,500 Scottish-based vehicles per year, or about 50 Scottish vehicles per week. A very general rule-of-thumb for this survey is that estimates which are based upon around 1,000 HGV-weeks have a 95% confidence interval of about +/- 10%. Therefore, the annual sample is too small for detailed analysis of the estimates for Scotland for a single year, and so the table which shows the estimated flows of freight to and from the former Regions of Scotland was produced by combining the results from several years' surveys.
4.3 GB HGV International road freight traffic
4.3.1 The international road freight traffic statistics are derived from DfT's International Road Haulage Survey which covers a sample of GB-registered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs: over 3.5 tonnes gross weight). Work by foreign-registered vehicles, and the transport of goods in unaccompanied trailers, is not within the scope of the survey. Other EU countries are responsible for monitoring the international movements of their own vehicles.
4.3.2 The survey covers trips using roll-on/roll-off ferries and the Channel Tunnel to serve origins and destinations located in continental Europe and in the Republic of Ireland, where the driver accompanies the vehicle throughout the journey. Trailers, when unaccompanied on the ferry crossing (or Channel Tunnel trip), are treated as domestic traffic when hauled to or from a UK port (or Channel Tunnel terminal). If the trailer is subsequently picked up by a foreign vehicle, that leg of the journey will be recorded in the statistics of the country in which the vehicle is registered. These statistics therefore exclude traffic which is carried in unaccompanied trailers, or in foreign-registered vehicles.
4.3.3 Each GB haulier with an International Operators Licence is asked to provide details of a sample of international trips by its HGVs: all those which leave the UK on a specified day or days (chosen in advance). Details of each trip are required, in those cases where a vehicle starts two (or more) international trips within the specified period. The sample covers about 4% of all trips.
4.3.4 The results of the survey are grossed-up to produce estimates which represent the total road freight carried abroad by GB-registered HGVs during the year as a whole. The survey is grossed to the total number of British HGVs leaving the country collected by the Department for Transport Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) survey, stratified by groups of ports.
4.3.5 This grossing methodology was implemented in August 2010 following a methodological review by the Office for National Statistics. Full details on the review and the methodology are available at: www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/162469/221412/221522/222944/661202/irhsreview.pdf
4.4 NI HGV road freight traffic
4.4.1 Information about domestic and international road freight traffic by HGVs registered in Northern Ireland is obtained from the Continuing Survey of Roads Goods Transport Northern Ireland (CSRGT NI).
4.4.2 Results from the CSRGT NI are grossed in the same way as the CSRGT for Great Britain described above. Domestic and international journey totals are added to the CSRGT (GB) and the IRHS respectively to produce estimates of domestic and international activity by UK-registered vehicles.
4.5 Gross Domestic Product: The index used is an updated version of the index of Gross Value Added for all industries, published in Table 1.1 of Scottish Economic Statistics 2008.
4.6 Sources for data on rail, air and water freight can be found in the relevant chapter in this publication. Rail (Chapter 7), air (Chapter 8), water (Chapter 9), and international comparisons (Chapter 12)
5. Further Information
5.1 Further information on GB road freight statistics can be found in the DfT publication Road Freight Statistics: 2010. Transport Statistics Great Britain also contains some figures. DfT used to produce other publications on road freight, including the quarterly bulletin Road Goods Vehicles Travelling to Mainland Europe (now a Web only release) and the Survey of Foreign Road Goods Vehicles.
5.2 Road freight statistics contact - Darren Stillwell, Department for Transport (Tel: 020 7944 4261).
5.3 Index of Gross Domestic Product for Scotland - 0131 244 2234 or firstname.lastname@example.org
5.4 Further information on rail, air and water freight can be found in the relevant chapter in this publication. Rail (Chapter 7), air (Chapter 8), water (Chapter 9), and international comparisons (Chapter 12).
6. Other Data Sources
Department for Transport produce a number of related publications, including:
Port freight statistics
Waterborne freight in the UK
Civil Aviation Authority
UK Airlines - Annual Operating and Traffic Statistics
Office of Rail Regulation
Freight Rail Usage
Eurostat and the EC Directorate General for Energy and Transport
EU Energy and Transport in Figures
Other Transport Scotland Publications:
Freight in Scotland Report 2014
1. The 'Outwith UK' figures include an element of doublecounting as figures include both the domestic and international legs of the journey.
2. Due to changes in the methodology and processing system used by the Department for Transport, 2004 and post-2004 figures are not comparable with pre-2004 figures. These figures include goods lifted by Northern Irish-based HGVs, so are slightly higher than those appearing in DfT's Road Freight Statisics.
3. Domestic freight estimates for 2006 to 2009 were revised on 27 October 2011
* = Sample too small for a reliable estimate
1. Scottish GDP figures are as published 19 October 2011.
* = Sample too small for a reliable estimate
Note: GDP figures available table 7 here http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GDP/Download
* = Sample too small for a reliable estimate
* = Sample too small for a reliable estimate
* = Sample too small for a reliable estimate
1. These figures include vehicles travelling between Northern Ireland and Ireland, so are higher than those appearing in DfT's Road Freight Statisics
* = Sample too small for a reliable estimate
|Journey Ended in|
|Lothian||Strathclyde||Tayside||SCOTLAND||Elsewhere in UK||TOTAL|
|Journey Started In:||Thousand tonnes|
|Dumfries & Galloway||143||1,284||51||5,242||1,835||7,076|
|Elsewhere in UK||3,034||8,782||652||18,490||1,519,656||1,538,146|