THE North-East's shipping and port industries pump more than £1bn into the region's economy, according to a new report.

The survey showed more than 10,400 people work in maritime roles across the North-East, with the industry supporting a further 22,000 posts.

The report, by Maritime UK, comes after the Port of Tyne, in South Shields, South Tyneside, last month unveiled £180m plans to build warehouses to store thousands of tonnes of wood pellets for the renewable energy market.

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The move could create 300 full-time jobs at the port, which oversees deliveries for Nissan, VW, Tetley and JML.

Bosses at the Port of Sunderland have also reported an increase in traffic, with an 84 per cent rise in overall vessels year-on-year using the port.

Jim Stewart, Chairman of Maritime UK said: “Shipping moves 95 per cent of the UK’s international trade, so at a time of fierce economic challenges these figures paint a picture of remarkable resilience.

“They show just how important maritime services are to the North-East economy, and what a vital role the North-East plays in our national infrastructure.

“Aviation and railways usually get the headlines, but maritime services are a much bigger contributor to the economy, and the whole country should be proud that one of its oldest industries is continuing to deliver for Britain.”