BUSINESS is booming for the Port of Tyne at its North Shields and South Shields quays, yielding record profits.
A huge rise in the volume of cargo coming in and out of the Tyne last year led to the port’s turnover increasing by almost a third to £60m and its profits more than doubling to £9m.
That financial performance is the best in the port’s history and comes on the back of a record year for quantities of cargo handled.
The boom in business being done by the port was made possible by more than £100m worth of investment in infrastructure over the last 10 years, including deepening the river, strengthening the port’s quayside berths and developing purpose-built facilities for new cargoes.
The deep sea port can now accept the majority of the world’s biggest cargo and cruise ships.
The port is estimated to contribute £467m to the region’s economy, supporting almost 10,000 jobs.
An estimated £10bn worth of goods passed through the Port of Tyne in 2011, 60 per cent of them exports and 40 per cent imports.
The amount of cargo handled on the Tyne grew by two thirds cent to 5.3 million tonnes, almost all of it dealt with at berths owned by the authority.
Capital expenditure by the port last year added up to more than £10m, included the cost of a major dredging scheme and the purchase of a new dredger, the Sir Bobby Robson.
Port chief executive Andrew Moffat said: “This unprecedented success is mostly due to the commitment of our employees.
“They have transformed the port into a strong, commercially-focused business that is trusted to deliver excellent service and value.
“This announcement is good news not only for the port but also the region.”