Awards > Maritime

Port of Tyne wins 'European Port of the Year 2009' Award

Birmingham 7th July 2009 - The Awards Committee at the Institute of Transport Management has announced its decision to award the Port of Tyne with the ‘European Port of the Year 2009’ accreditation. The decision to accredit the Port of Tyne with this award, for the third year in succession, follows an intensive research and selection process and is in recognition of the company’s ongoing investment in facilities which streamline operations and improve workflow, reducing operating costs for users of the Port whilst maintaining margins.

In 1998 The Institute of Transport Management began its annual series of research programmes to delineate the key trends shaping the marine sector and to identify the major factors affecting the industry worldwide. The ongoing research draws on interviews, published statistical data, service guides, annual reports, press releases, surveys and input from both the regulatory global maritime authorities and a cross section of CEOs and MDs from the transport industry. These findings are then discussed in detail to provide a clear and concise overview of the state of the global marine sector and the discussion embraces a number of pertinent topics, including: the role of the ports and port authorities; a regional analysis of Europe's major shipping companies; dynamics of the marine sector; growth in sea traffic; competition between shipping companies; and information technology.

In presenting the Institute of Transport Management’s research report on the marine industry, Bridget Moncrieff, Director of Research for the ITM said: “It came as no surprise to us that as in every other sector, customers want hassle free and secure transport; shipping companies want to offer a more efficient service to their customers; ports want more people to use their facilities; customs and immigration want improved controls and better use of their resources; and governments want a cost-effective transport system. And they all want to cut costs.

Because of the high operating costs, increased competitiveness and the uncertainty surrounding the logistics industry in general, operators need to employ effective solutions which will reduce time-wasting, lessen potential costs and maintain high on-time performance and customer service. 3PLs, for example, are trying to reduce their exposure to high fuel prices by realigning their distribution centre networks and employing optimisation technology to reduce unnecessary mileage and are increasing their use of rail, barge and ocean transport services. To this end the Port of Tyne has transformed itself from the traditional port business model and has been successfully promoting its ‘one-stop-shop’ logistics solution for several years.

The advantages of using a well-equipped and ideally located north eastern port with excellent hinterland connections and services, as opposed to battling through the congested south east axis, are clear, and this route is gaining in popularity. One could say that the Port of Tyne has developed its business by thinking outside the box: By investing over £100m in dockside cargo handling equipment, rail-links, IT services and training, the port has developed the capacity to handle the whole logistics supply chain in-house and is attracting shipments into its berths where goods can be unloaded, sorted, repacked and redistributed under one roof. As a result, customers can look at the whole supply-chain cost rather than parts of it and benefit from shorter turnaround times.

Today the Port of Tyne is a vibrant transport centre, unique among UK ports with its capability to handle the whole of the logistics supply chain in house, as well as having an enviable reputation as a major European car terminal. Its recent project to lengthen and deepen the Riverside Quay allows it to handle larger vessels and this year the Port is on course to import as much as 4 million tonnes of coal.

Commenting on the successes of the Port of Tyne to date, Ms. Moncrieff went on to say: “For decades Ports were defined as places where goods simply arrived or left. Over the years, however, many have had to adapt and change to stay in business and to this end now have the capacity to provide much more sophisticated and integrated functions. Mindful of this trend, the Awards Committee was keen to bestow the ‘Best in Class’ award to a Port which demonstrated a commitment to move with the times. It was apparent from our research that the Port of Tyne is constantly striving to raise its standards, improve its facilities, and expand its business.

“With an emphasis on streamlining services and reducing costs, the Port of Tyne offers the logistics operator a cost-effective and environmentally conscious alternative to hauling goods by road through the countryside. The port operations are also highly efficient, and from the moment a ship comes in the port’s people take direct responsibility for the goods - from offloading to the final destination point (in some cases) and as a result trucks can be turned around in 20 minutes - a feat unheard of in the south and one which is guaranteed to continue to attract new business, particularly in these challenging times.”

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For more information please visit the Port of Tyne website.