A NORTH-EAST port has revealed record cargo volumes and turnover for a fifth successive year.

The Port of Tyne said it saw cargo increase by 25 per cent to 8.1 million tonnes in 2013, with turnover rising 16 per cent to £73m.

Pre-tax profits stood at £6m, which were lower due to crane outages and investment in £180m plans for wood pellet warehouses for the renewable energy market.

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Bosses said 625,000 passengers used its international passenger terminal, with 640,000 cars crossing its quays, making the port the UK’s largest car exporting base.

It oversees deliveries for Nissan, South Shields wax jacket maker Barbour, and tea firm Tetley, which has a factory in Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, and earlier this year revealed buoyant cargo results thanks to imports of coal from Russia and the US.

Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne chief executive, said: “We have continued to develop the port’s vital infrastructure and have invested more than £60m since 2009 with £15m just last year.

“As a result, the port is a larger and more sustainable business, bringing greater economic value to the North East.”

The port, in South Shields, South Tyneside, previously revealed proposals to erect buildings capable of storing thousands of tonnes of pellets, which could create 300 full-time jobs and support 900 construction jobs.

A £25m programme to extend the port’s main Riverside Quay by 125 metres, and connect the port’s south bank estate to a 17-acre site, is also due to start by the end of the month.

Mr Moffat added: “We will take advantage of opportunities in the renewable energy and offshore sectors by maximising the potential of the quays and operational land.”

See tomorrow’s Northern Echo for an interview with Andrew Moffat.