Port of Sunderland sees 25% rise in business during first half of 2017

Port of Sunderland director Matthew Hunt
Port of Sunderland director Matthew Hunt

Port of Sunderland bosses are celebrating after a significant rise in business.

Total cargo passing through the port increased by 25% during the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year.

We recognised that the port’s capabilities could be greatly enhanced with strategic investment and thankfully, we have a pragmatic and proactive board, that is willing to invest in the future.

Matthew Hunt

The city council-owned port, which this year marks its 300th anniversary, has reported record levels of cargo imported for the first two quarters of 2017 at 341,000 tonnes, compared with 268,000 tonnes in the same period of 2016.

Exports in the first six months of the year are also up to just under 100,000 tonnes, against just over 95,000 tonnes in the same period last year.

Director Matthew Hunt has overseen a number of strategic purchases that have helped business to grow, including the purchase of two cranes, major improvements to the port estate including resurfacing work to create hardstanding for cargo lay-down, the addition of warehousing capacity and connectivity improvements, which saw a previously decommissioned rail line reconnected into the heart of the port.

This is set to be further enhanced with opening of the New Wear Crossing and improved road connectivity in and out of the port.

“We recognised that the port’s capabilities could be greatly enhanced with strategic investment, and thankfully we have a pragmatic and proactive board that is willing to invest in the future,” he said.

“We are delighted to see that, a matter of months down the line, the decisions we have made are allowing us to push on and bring in more business.

“The figures reflect a hugely-positive period in the port’s development and certainly give us cause to be optimistic that we can further realise our vast potential.

“This will be significantly augmented by future requirements of regional developments such as at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park.”