Lerwick Harbour Meets Expectations

The U.K.’s Lerwick Harbour, a gateway to Shetland communities and industries, has improved its statistics in passenger traffic, cargo handled and fish landed in 2014.

Passengers were up 11.8% to 179,352, with numbers on the roll-on/roll-off nightly ferries between the port and Kirkwall and Aberdeen increased by 2% to 135,629 compared with the previous year. A recovery in cruise traffic saw passengers up by 64% to 43,723.

The tonnage of all cargo shipments increased 2% to 1,192,286 tonnes. Fish landings totalled 69,973 tonnes, up 4.7% on volume but down 2.4% on value.

Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive Sandra Laurenson said: ”Overall levels were as predicted and the year ended on forecast, underpinning our financial performance and confidence in the continuing development of the port. The 52 cruise ships booked this year are ahead of 2013 which was a record year for passengers. Increases in some key fishing quotas should mean higher landings. Continuing project support, especially for subsea development in the Atlantic, will help shield the port from the drop in the oil price, with the sector a significant area of our activity for the foreseeable future.”

There were 5,078 vessel arrivals in 2014, down 6% – due mainly to fewer fishing boats, with the overall tonnage down 7% to 12.2 million gross tonnes compared to 2013 when shipments of rock to cover an offshore pipeline boosted figures.

A record tonnage of vessels was handled by the Authority’s pilots – 10.5 million gross tonnes, up 3.8%, reflecting the larger vessels using the port, although the number of piloted movements were down 5.6% at 1,418.

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