North East Business of the Year, Port of Tyne, achieved its highest cargo volumes for over 50 years in 2013, 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“We have been exceptionally busy in response to global markets, in particular to meet the demand for coal and wood pellet for our UK power station customers, and we have maintained our share of the market in all our other business areas.
“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.
“I am expecting a strong set of financial results but our year on year performance will be negatively impacted by the significant investment in wood pellet development costs, crane repair costs and the associated impact on productivity.
“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.”
Press Release, February 12, 2014