By DARA BUTTERFIELD
An average equivalent of almost 80,000 tonnes of shipping a day entering Aberdeen harbour last year has generated a 29% increase in annual profits to £12.4 million – compared to £9.6 million the previous year.
The harbour recorded a total gross vessel tonnage figure in excess of 28 million tonnes for the third year in succession and an increase in vessel arrival numbers.
Publishing their results for 2014, the harbour Board today confirmed a total gross vessel tonnage figure of 28.1 million tonnes, with a 1.3% increase in the total number of vessels ( 7,937) arrivals in 2014.
The port also continues to experience year-on-year growth in international trade. Among the new routes, the Falkland Islands alone saw more than 40,000 vessel tonnes and 10,000 tonnes of predominantly oil and gas-related cargo.
Colin Parker, Chief Executive Aberdeen Harbour, said: “Activity at the port remained strong throughout 2014 and, in particular, we are pleased to see the development of further international links and the continued strength of both our North Sea-related and commercial cargo markets.
“Activity to date in 2015 also remains buoyant. Quarter one activity for 2015 is 4% ahead of the same period last year, in terms of vessel arrivals, and 5% up in terms of shipping tonnage.”
However, it remains to be seen whether further increases in these figures are possible at Aberdeen given its inability to enlarge harbour facilities.
Consequently, the board continues to investigate expansion opportunities in Nigg Bay and will consult further with commercial and local community groups.