The Port of Tyne was famous for its coal exports but the radical changes in the UK's mining industry during the 1990s created an urgent need to diversify to remain viable.
Today, the results of over a decade of development and £120 million of investment has culminated in being named UK Port of the Year in the 2014 National Transport Awards, and are clearly seen in the Port's five commercial business areas, its three rail terminals and its modern international cruise and passenger terminal.
The Port of Tyne bulk and conventional cargo business handles coal, wood-pellet, grain, scrap, steel and other cargoes, but it is the volume of imported coal, which has increased dramatically from zero in 2003 to 4.9 million tonnes in 2013, that has earned the Port its place as the UK's second largest coal importer.
Port of Tyne Logistics offers customers an integrated package of container handling, warehousing and distribution, with many customers already experiencing the advantages of feedering into the Tyne rather than bringing their goods through Felixstowe or Southampton and trucking them all the way up country. Not only does it help reduce the carbon footprint, it also offers cost efficiencies.
In addition to Cruise and Ferry, other business areas include Car Terminals, developed by the Port to support manufacturing giants Nissan and VW, and Estates, which manages a growing portfolio of commercial properties and land holdings.
The Port is also leading developments in renewable energy and with its asset base and geographical location, is well placed to meet the needs of the emerging offshore oil, wind and gas industry.