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Short Term Statistics, Business Statistics
Heidi Sørensen
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Maritime Transport over Danish Ports

The main variables in the statistics are: Calls at port, type of ship, size of ship, flag state, port of loading/unloading, weight of goods and type of goods and passengers.

The statistics are based on two separate data collections: Maritime traffic on larger Danish ports (quarterly) and Maritime traffic on minor Danish ports (annually). It is supplemented with data from Ferries and Passenger ships (quarterly).

Annual data on accidents at sea are collected from the Danish Maritime Authority.

Data on investments in ports are received from the National Accounts in Statistics Denmark.

Data description

The statistics contain information on calls at port, type of ship, size of ship, flag state, port of loading/unloading, weight of goods and type of goods and cruise ship passengers.

The larger ports that handles at least 1 mill. tonnes of goods annually report every single port call with detailed information on the vessel, origin or destination port and type of goods. The minor ports reports annual summary information on the number of port calls, tonnes of goods, type of goods and regions. Goods transported by passenger ships and ferries are included in quarterly statistics. Quarterly statistics therefore only contain information on the major ports and ferry ports while annual statistics includes all ports unless otherwise stated.

The statistics are supplemented annually with data on investments in the ports and data on accidents at sea.

Classification system

Classifications used

Besides the following groupings are used in various tables:

  • Direction: Direction is divided into inbound and outbound goods, where inbound is goods entering the port and outgoing are goods exiting the port
  • Type of goods: in accordance with the above mentioned goods classification NST 2007
  • Transport unit: the grouping covers units used to contain goods to ease the transport and especially intermodal transport. It is container, ro-ro units (e.g. trailers) and swap bodies
  • Groups of countries: In particular the division between European ports and ports outside Europe is used. Within the maritime sector there is a distinction between the short distances (short sea shipping) defined here as transport to and from other European ports and long distances (deep sea shipping) defined here as transports to and from ports outside Europe. The distinction is used because it is by and large two different business areas with different competition, different equipment and often different types of goods.
  • Ship unit: in tables SKIB41 and SKIB421 the goods are divided by whether is is transported by merchant vessel or ferries.
  • Region of loading or unloading: Division following the geographical classification NUTS

Sector coverage


Statistical concepts and definitions

Ferry: A passenger ship without cabin accommodation for all or any passengers.

Freight vessel: A ship primarily designed to carry goods.

Gross tonnage (GT): Gross tonnage (GT) is a unitless measure of the size of a ship defined by the volume of all enclosed spaces.

Maritime Transport Statistics: Maritime Transport Statistics is comprised by the two statistics Goods Transport in Danish Ports and Ferry Transport

Merchant ship: Ship designed for the carriage of goods, transport of passengers or specially fitted out for a specific commercial duty. In maritime transport statistics on vessels that carry goods or transport passengers are included. Fishing vessels are not included.

Nationality of registration (flag state): The country authorising the registry of a seagoing vessel (Flag state)

Passenger ship: A ship designed to carry more than 12 paying passengers. Ro-Ro passenger ships are excluded.

Port: A place with facilities for mechant ships to moor and to load and unload cargo or to diembark or imbark passengers to and from vessel

Port call: Port call with the objective to load or unload goods or disembark or embark passenger

Ro-Ro unit: Wheeled equipment for carrying goods, e.g. a lorry or trailer.

Ship: A seagoing self-propelled surface-displacement vessel.

TEU - Twenty-foot equivalent Unit: TEU is a standardised measure of the number of containers recalculated to units equivalent to a 20 foot container.

Statistical unit

The statistical unit is the port.

Statistical population

Danish sea ports

Reference area


Time coverage

The quarterly time series for goods and container through-put covers the period from 2000 and forward.

Base period

Not applicable in this statistics.

Unit of measure

Used measures

  • Passengers in thousands
  • Goods in thousand metric tonnes
  • Containers i TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units)
  • Transport performance in million tonnes-kilometers

Reference period

The statistics refer to quarters and year.

Frequency of dissemination

Quarterly (major ports) and annually (minor ports).

Legal acts and other agreements

The Act on Statistics Denmark (Lov om Danmarks Statistik), Section 8, subsection 1, cf. Order no. 610 of 30 May 2018.

Council Directive 2009/42/EC of May 6th, 2009 on statistical returns in respect of carriage of goods and passengers by sea (Recast).

Cost and burden

The burden of response for 2013 in fixed 2004-prices are estimated at

  • 598,000 DKK on Maritime transport in major Danish ports
  • 53,000 DKK on Maritime transport in minor Danish ports


Additional information can be found at the statistics Subject Page.

The COVID19-pandemic haven't had any effect on neither data collection nor the quality of the statistics.