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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Road Freight Transport Survey


 20162017% change
Tonne-km (million)11,56411,7591.7%
Tonnes carried (thousand)141,669147,2293.9%
Vehicle kilometres (million)1,5581,5922.2%
Average number of vehicles98,656108,47910.0%
Laden journeys (thousand)12,09012,8276.1%

Road freight tonnage increased by 3.9% in 2017

Figure 1: Tonnes carried 2007-2017
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  • In 2017, a total of 147.2 million tonnes of goods was transported by road. This represents an increase of 3.9% on the 2016 total, and is the highest level recorded since 2009 when 148.3 million tonnes were carried. The 2017 road freight activity is still significantly lower than the peak 2007 figure of 299.3 million tonnes. See tables A and B.
  • Activity measured as weight by distance, or tonne-kilometres, reached 11,759 tonne-kilometres in 2017. Again, this was close to the 2009 level of 12,071 million tonne-kilometres but considerably below the 2007 highest point in the series.
  • In 2017, there were 108,479 goods vehicles (greater than 2 tonnes unladen weight) on the roads in Ireland, which was 10.0% higher than in 2016. Vehicles weighing 2-5 tonnes unladen weight increased by 11.2% and vehicles weighing over 10 tonnes unladen weight increased by 8.4%. See table E.
  • Larger vehicles, over 10 tonnes unladen weight, accounted for one-fifth of the overall fleet in 2017, but undertook the most significant proportion of road freight activity. They accounted for 53.5% of all laden journeys, 85.9% of tonnes carried and 88.5% of tonne-kilometres.
  • The total distance covered by road freight transport was 1,592 million kilometres in 2017. See tables A and B.
  • The type of work showing the greatest annual increase in tonnes carried was Delivery of goods to road works or building sites. This category includes many building materials such as sand, gravel, cement and concrete.

Note: With effect from August 2018, Road Freight Statistics will be published quarterly.