Awards > Maritime

Port of Tyne is ITM's European Port of the Year 2011

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 2011" accreditation. The decision to accredit the Port of Tyne with this award, for the fourth 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."

The Port of Tyne has not had things easy – in the early 1990s, it had to face the fact that its traditional coal export business was coming to an end. Management realised that in order to push home the concept of using northern ports for northern cargoes, a drastic makeover was required. Since then, the Port has invested over £100 million in new quays, cranes, quayside equipment, on-dock warehousing, rail links, haulage, IT, services and training. As well as this, it has continued to develop its capability to handle the whole of the logistics supply chain in-house, through Port of Tyne Logistics Services.

It has 50,000 square metres of high-security customs-approved warehousing, with 53,000 racked pallet spaces, and land available for further warehousing, distribution and other activities. Trucks are turned round in the terminal compound within 20 minutes – a performance that other ports can only dream of. 

The Port offers a uniquely integrated package of container handling, reconfiguration and reworking, storage and distribution with its own road haulage fleet. And, as well as eliminating road miles and avoiding some of the south-east’s bottlenecks, the Port of Tyne uses rail as an important part of the mix. 

Despite difficult economic circumstances, the Port of Tyne continues to thrive and is already experiencing an upturn in trade. Its ten-year agreement with Drax Power, for example, represents a major long -term investment that will take full advantage of the Port of Tyne’s excellent deep water berths, facilities, manpower and rail connectivity. As well as this major contract, the Port has also welcomed some new tenants. MGT Power announced plans in August 2009 to build its Tyne Renewable Energy Plant on the port’s north bank estate in North Shields.  This plant is expected to burn over 2 million tonnes of biomass per annum.
At the end of 2009, Engineering Business, a subsidiary of the Dutch-based IHC, located its operations to a 7,500m² warehouse behind the port’s Riverside Quay, which allowed the Port to handle project cargo associated with the significant and growing off-shore sector for the first time. The port is also beginning to see the beginnings of recovery in trade. Despite last year’s global downturn in the demand for cars, which resulted in a 31 percent reduction in the number of cars being handled, the Port of Tyne remained the 14th largest car port in Europe.

According to Patrick Sheedy, Media and PR Director for the ITM: 

“The Port of Tyne is a principal northern gateway and key player in the North East region and beyond. With about 500 staff members, the Port of Tyne is one of the borough’s biggest employers, while it also supports another 9,000 people in jobs throughout Tyne and Wear.

“The Port has five main business areas – conventional and bulk cargoes, logistics, car terminals, cruise and ferries and estates – and the success of each is a result of continued strategic planning and investment. Never one to shy away from innovation, it is also currently exploring opportunities in renewable energy, particularly in the development of offshore wind technology and manufacturing.

“The Port is distinctive in that is has no shareholders or owners. Any surplus is ploughed back into the Port for the benefit of the stakeholders of the trust – and these stakeholders are all those who depend on it for work, business and leisure. Yet as well as being an ethical operation, it is also a highly successful one: recent independent economic impact assessors found that Port of Tyne adds £376m gross value added to the regional economy.

"It is for all these reasons that the ITM has awarded the Port of Tyne the title of ‘European Port of the Year 2011’. It is a vibrant transport centre, unique among UK ports in its ability to handle the whole of the logistics supply chain in-house, as well as having an enviable reputation as a major European car terminal. It is committed to operating in a commercially sound, socially supportive and environmentally sustainable manner and it fully deserves this award.”