Mapping shipping cargo value

Improving the evidence base for marine plan policies by mapping the value of shipping cargo flows

The maritime sector plays a critical role in the growth and development of the UK as a primary facilitator of global trade. An understanding of navigation routes and trade flows is therefore important in informing planning and management of the English marine area.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) commissioned ABPmer to deliver Project 1158, ‘Mapping Shipping Cargo Value’, which aimed to develop and apply approaches to assigning value to shipping cargo flows to support decision making in marine plan areas.

ABPmer developed a methodology to assign cargo value to all shipping across marine plan areas based on Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Lloyds List Intelligence (LLI) data. These datasets were used to inform vessel properties and transits, from which the shipping cargo value was calculated and mapped.

The shipping cargo values were validated against port freight and sea passenger statistics from the major ports within the north east, south east, south west and north west marine plan areas. Results were presented for the north east marine plan areas, which was the case study area.

To validate the approach used and the resulting outputs, we engaged with industry representatives.

Project outputs included the mapped average weekly shipping cargo value for the case study area (the north east marine plan areas) for a range of cargo types. From this mapping, it was possible to identify distinct routes and the relative importance of different routes, based on the varying value for different cargo types across the marine plan areas.

The outputs from this work have been used to enhanced the understanding of shipping cargo value associated with marine space use and improved the evidence base on which to base marine plan policies.

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ABPmer’s data and GIS specialists are experienced marine data handlers, developing bespoke GIS mapping and data management tools for governing bodies, the public sector and marine and coastal operators.