Port of Tyne sees highest cargo volumes since 1965

  • Port of Tyne has achieved its highest cargo volumes for over 50 years, breaking its own records for cargo handling and passenger numbers.

The North Eastern business of the year handled 8.1 million tonnes of Cargo, the largest volume since 1965. This was a 22% on the 6.5 million handled on 2012, which itself was a record year.

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 wood pellet.

The Port’s International Passenger Terminal at North Shields set new records, with a total of 625,000 passengers travelling through the terminal, up 4% from the year before. This included passengers for both the daily DFDS route to Amsterdam and the 32 cruise ships that called into the port in 2013.

The number of cars handled through the Port’s three terminals was 640,000, a slight decrease on last year’s record of 670,000.

The Port’s Logistics division handled 60,000 TEU compared to 64,000 the previous year.

The port continued to invest on its growing infrastructure during the year, purchasing two heavy lift cranes and acquiring 12 acres of land adjoining its existing estate to further increase capacity. It also disposed of 17 acres of non-operational land at the foreshore in South Shields.
There was an increase in workforce by 11%. The port created 54 new jobs, including 12 apprenticeships, increasing the total workforce to 566.

There has also been significant investment in plans to expand wood pellet handling, storage and transportation which are expected to create up to 300 new jobs. Wood pellet is a relatively new cargo, used as a renewable fuel by power stations.

Chief Executive Officer at Port of Tyne, Andrew Moffat, said: “Activity levels in 2013 have underpinned our strategy for growth and upholds our decision to aim for further expansion going forwards.

“We have continued to invest heavily in the Port and in the workforce to help us achieve our aim of further growth and business expansion in the context of increasing competition in the UK port sector.

“Being this busy does of course bring with it challenges, especially for our personnel who have responded magnificently throughout a period of organisational development and change.

“Overall we are pleased with activity levels and gratified that we can continue to contribute positively to the region’s economy with the continued support of our partners, customers, employees and other stakeholders.”

The Port of Tyne adds approximately £500m Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy of North East England supporting around 10,000 jobs.

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