In 2013 North East Business of the Year, Port of Tyne achieved its hightest cargo volumes for 50 years, breaking its own records for cargo handling and passenger numbers.
In total on the River Tyne 8.1 million tonnes of cargo was handled - the largest volume since 1965. This was a 22% increase on 2012 – which itself was a record year at 6.5 million. Of the total river cargo 97% was handled at Port of Tyne owned berths.
Imported coal and wood pellet volumes were at the highest level ever recorded, with almost 5 million tonnes of coal and 1 million tonnes of the relatively new cargo, wood pellet, which is used as an alternative fuel by power stations in the generation of renewable energy.
The number of passengers using the Port’s International Passenger Terminal at North Shields set new records for both the daily Amsterdam route operated by DFDS and for cruise passengers. A total of 625,000 passengers, up 4%, travelled through the Terminal. This included 64,000 passengers from the 32 cruise ships that called into the Port in 2013.
The number of cars handled through the Port’s three car terminals was 640,000, a slight decrease on last year’s record of 670,000. Nissan exports and VW / Audi imports remain strong, and the year on year movement reflects the relative demand for new cars in the UK versus overseas markets.
The Port’s Logistics division with its container terminal, 184-strong distribution fleet of trucks and trailers and 56,000 sq m of warehousing provides handling, storage and distribution services for parts for manufacturing, retail goods, tea and recyclables such as waste paper. In 2013 the division handled 60,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent container units) compared to 64,000 the previous year.
The Port continued to grow and invest in its infrastructure during the year, including the purchase of two heavy lift cranes and as part of its ongoing review of land holdings, acquired 12 acres of land adjoining its existing south estate to further increase capacity. It also disposed of 17 acres of non-operational land at the foreshore in South Shields.
The Port created 54 new jobs including 12 new apprenticeships to support this growth and facilitate further major growth plans currently in development. This was an increase of 11% in the workforce which now totals 566.
Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Tyne, said: “Activity levels in 2013 have underpinned our strategy for growth and upholds our decision to aim for further expansion going forwards.”