Positive Outlook As Aberdeen Harbour Welcomes Record Traffic Figures

7/11/11 3:24 PM

Aberdeen Harbour attracted increased traffic across the first half of 2011, with both vessel numbers and tonnage on the up. Vessel numbers rose by seven percent on the same period last year to 3,746 while shipping tonnage increased from 11.6 million tonnes to 12.2 million tonnes. Total cargo tonnage also increased over the same period by 4.7 percent from 2.2 to 2.3 million tonnes.

The port also recorded 590,563 tonnes of shipping activity during the second week of July; the highest weekly tonnage ever to be handled.

The increased levels of activity fully justify the ongoing investment in state-of-the-art facilities at the port, which are complemented by the high standard of service users have come to expect from Aberdeen Harbour, widely considered to be the centre of activity for the energy industry's marine operations in North-west Europe.

Continued growth in the oil and gas sector is reflected in the increased number of support vessels that used the port over the first six months of the year; up eight percent to 2,580. This demonstrates the significant role the energy industry continues to play in generating activity for both Aberdeen Harbour and the region as a whole.

The Northlink ferry services continue to prove a vital link for those travelling between the mainland and the Northern Isles, with around 68,000 passengers passing through the port. Commercial cargo, both in and outbound also rose, with notable increases in raw materials such as road salt, timber logs and scrap.

Chief Executive of Aberdeen Harbour Board, Colin Parker, said: "A key part of our ongoing development strategy is the Board's investment in facilities to improve the harbour in order to ensure we continue to provide fit-for-purpose facilities for our existing customers and new business streams alike.

"We are reaping the benefits of this investment with increases across the board; from oil and gas support to general cargo. The ferry service to the Northern Isles continues to prove an important service offering while the harbour has again this year resumed links with the tourism sector, welcoming a number of cruise calls to the port, with vessels of varying sizes using our facilities.

"We expect to see a continued growth in activity levels and are forecasting increases across all sectors. The post-exploratory work being undertaken in the North Sea off West Shetland, in addition to the ongoing developments in West Africa and the Barents Sea mean that Aberdeen Harbour is as important to the local economy as ever.

"With all sectors contributing to an excellent, all-round performance the increases in activity are an encouraging sign for the next six months and beyond."

Neil Berry