UK: Aberdeen Harbour Improves Performance Across Various Sectors in Third Quarter

Aberdeen Harbour Improves Performance Across Various Sectors in Third Quarter

The positive levels of activity recorded by Aberdeen Harbour throughout the first half of the year have continued through to September, with the port announcing improved performance across various sectors in the third quarter.

Across the nine months, overall vessel tonnage has risen by five per cent on the same period last year from 18.43million, to 19.33million gross tonnes. The number of vessels has also experienced a significant increase of four per cent, from 5,688 to 5,922, a reflection of the growing numbers of oil-related and commercial vessels utilising Aberdeen Harbour’s facilities.

African traffic has been one of the fastest growing routes for the port, experiencing significant increases across 2011. The port recorded growth of 21 per cent in the tonnage of cargo handled going to and from the continent, rising from 31.10 to 45.01thousand tonnes. Since the introduction of this service, trade flows have developed considerably, with annual goods tonnage rising from 44.60 to 52.48thousand tonnes between 2006 and 2010.

The growing number and tonnage of cruise vessels visiting the port also contributed to the harbour’s strong performance, while the continued importance of the Northlink ferry service was demonstrated by a two per cent rise in overall passenger numbers, increasing from 59,459 to 60,605.

Harbour master and operations director of Aberdeen Harbour, Ray Shaw, said: “The latest figures, which show a rise in activity across the board, provide further encouragement that the continued and significant investment being made into the port’s facilities is justified.

“The scheduled shipping links with Africa, through which increasing levels of oil field equipment are being handled, are particularly buoyant, while this year has also seen us welcome a new circular freight cargo service operating between North Russia and Holland. We now have trading links with more than 40 countries around the world.

“These services make a key contribution to activity levels and demonstrate the importance of Aberdeen Harbour both locally, nationally and on a global scale. We look forward to the continued progress we expect to recognise across the remainder of the year.”

Aberdeen Harbour is one of the UK’s busiest ports and the centre of activity for the energy industry’s marine operations in North-west Europe. With trading links to more than 40 countries across the world, the port is a key regional resource and a vital part of Northern Scotland’s infrastructure.

With a wide range of industry sectors contributing to record annual traffic figures, Aberdeen Harbour handles over 24 million tonnes of shipping and cargo exceeding five million tonnes, worth £1.5 billion. Activity at the port generates over £420 million to the region’s economy each year and helps sustain around 11,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Source: Aberdeen Harbour, October 18, 2011