Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Northern Port Looks to the Future of Freight as Profits Rise Despite Brexit Uncertainty

Upswing in Turnover and Thirty Year Vision Announced
Shipping News Feature
UK – Despite all the uncertainty over Brexit which has been lingering for a considerable time, it seems some of Britain's shipping facilities are doing OK, as many are looking to a long term future long after the dust has settled on any, or no, agreement, and trade once again has found its own level as freight volumes even out.

One such is the Port of Tyne in North East England, which saw adjusted pre-tax profits increase to £2.1 million and turnover rise by 22% to £57.5 million in 2018, with almost all existing business streams seeing an improvement in performance. As a result, 2018 EBITDA rose by 54% to £11.7 million. Many pundits think the northern ports may actually benefit from the UK leaving Europe and cargo units switch to alternative methods.

The move from accompanied trailers entering predominantly via the southern ports such as Dover, may be replaced by an increase in container feeder services from the Continent, and this has encouraged the long term view. The Port of Tyne however is concentrating on what it sees ahead and hardly makes mention of the ‘B’ word when publicising its latest announcement.

The Port’s Chief Executive Officer has announced to stakeholders plans to launch a Tyne 2050 strategy, which it says aligns fully with the governments aspirations laid out in Maritime 2050, itself developed in collaboration with a panel of industry experts, including the Port of Tyne’s Chair Lucy Armstrong.

Tyne 2050 is based around the themes of Technology, Business Development, Infrastructure Planning, Safety and Environmental Management, People, Security and Resilience and Community, and Lucy Armstrong commented:

“It’s a real team effort and everyone at the Port is working hard to meet the challenges ahead and propel the port forward to 2050 and beyond. Safety remains a priority and 2018 saw the Port obtain the RoSPA Gold Medal award. As we work towards the objective of zero harm and in line with the Maritime 2050 strategies.

”We aim to make progress around technology, risk and controls, innovation and diversity and we are undertaking initiatives across the Port that will help grow the business and better serve our customers.”

By retaining the Investors in People Gold Standard in 2018 the Port management says it continues to place its true values at the heart of all that it does, and Matt Beeton, Port of Tyne Chief Executive Officer, observed:

“2018 proved to be a financially successful year allowing us to invest £8.7 million in facilities to support our growth and looking forward, in January 2019 the Port secured a £60 million refinancing package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, ensuring we can continue to capitalise on our sustainable growth strategy going forward in to 2019 and beyond.

“Thinking long-term and preparing for the future will set us on the path of meeting our vision of growing the business, creating a sustainable port that continues to add over £621 million to the economy. We need to think long-term and Tyne 2050 will develop initiatives that seek to meet the challenges of the UK’s maritime and transport infrastructure, by strengthening collaborations with business and the community, supporting skills and innovation.”