The Port of Tyne yesterday announced its best ever financial results.
A massive rise in the volume of cargoes coming in and out of the River Tyne resulted in the Port’s turnover increasing by almost a third to £60 million and profit more than doubling to £9 million.
This financial performance is the best in the Port’s history and comes on the back of a record year in terms of volumes of cargo handled, particularly in bulk cargoes, containers, car terminals and cruise and ferries.
The Port’s Chief Executive, Andrew Moffat, credited the success to the commitment of the Port’s employees, who he said had helped transform the business into an economic driver for growth for the whole of the North East region.
There has also been over £100m of investment in infrastructure at the Port over the last 10 years, including deepening the river, strengthening the Port’s quayside berths and developing purpose-built infrastructure for new cargoes. The deep sea port can now accept the majority of the world’s biggest cargo and cruise ships.
The impact of the Port’s activities on the North East (assessed by external consultants) added £467 million to the region’s GVA and supports almost 10,000 jobs.
An estimated £10 billion worth of goods passed through the Port of Tyne in 2011 – 60% related to exports and 40% to imports – a significant proportion of the total value of the region’s exports which was estimated at £13 billion last year.
All cargoes handled on the River Tyne grew by 66% to 5.3 million tonnes; almost all of this was handled at berths owned by the Port of Tyne.
Each of the Port’s five business areas saw a strong performance. Conventional and Bulk cargoes such as coal, steel, scrap, grain and wood pellets, more than doubled to 3.5 million tonnes; a record number of 667,000 cars were handled; container volumes increased by 25% to 71,000 units; and 600,000 passengers travelled through the Port’s International Passenger Terminal at North Shields.
Capital expenditure in the Port in 2011 amounted to over £10 million and included the major river dredging scheme, replacing the century old fenders beneath the quays and other infrastructure works as well as the purchase of a new dredger, the “Sir Bobby Robson”.
“This unprecedented success is mostly due to the commitment of our employees. They have transformed the Port into a strong, commercially-focussed business that is trusted to deliver excellent service and value to its customers as well as ensuring we deliver our aim of a vibrant and sustainable Port of Tyne.
“This announcement is good news not only for the Port but also the region. We have a responsibility to ensure that the Port serves businesses and communities of the North East region and plays its part in helping achieve economic growth,” added Andrew.
Through long term strategic investments and the ability to take on new challenges, the Port is now placed at the leading edge of several sectors and well placed to exploit its plans to tackle new markets and opportunities.
It is the largest dedicated facility in Europe for handling wood pellets; is the UK’s no.1 car exporting port; has just risen to Europe’s fifth largest car handling port; and won the accolade of the UK’s ‘Best Port of Call’ from CruiseCritic.com.
The business transformation has included winning national standards such as ‘Investors in People’ for the whole Port; introducing personal development review processes throughout the organisation; and a staff profit share scheme on the lines of the John Lewis Partnership scheme, which now in its second year, delivered 4% of annual salary for employees in 2011.
The outlook is positive, with expansion of the bulk cargoes, particularly coal and wood pellet destined for power generators; further business for Nissan and other car manufacturers, and expansion of routes for container ships. The Port’s estate on the north of the river is earmarked for development for manufacturing in the offshore wind sector.
“I am delighted to be able to say that, thanks to the support of our employees, our customers and our many other stakeholders, for the Port of Tyne, the future’s bright,” said Andrew.
Dredging Today Staff, May 11, 2012; Images: portoftyne