The Port of Tyne has experienced a surge in cargo volumes over the past 12 months, hitting a 23-year high.

Officials at the north-east dock stated that it had handled 6.5 million tonnes of goods during the year which represented a 22 per cent rise on 2011's figure. It also marked the best performance since 1989 and showed the importance of the port in terms of the UK's logistics and is positive news for the country's supply chain jobs market. The dock is also confident that it can continue its positive workings into the rest of 2013 and beyond to 2014.

Coal was a driving factor behind this improvement in cargo volumes with around 3.7 million tonnes of the valuable resource passing through the port during the last 12 months. This smashed the record of three million which was set in 2008 and bodes well for the area going ahead.

Andrew Moffat, chief executive the Port of Tyne, said: "Strategic investments made in recent years have enabled the business to grow to meet demand and grasp new opportunities. The port is now able to accommodate 83 per cent of the world's largest cargo ships and 95 per cent of cruise ships, which means we can do even more to support business in the north-east region."

Despite the current import and export market in the UK declining slightly, the Port of Tyne has somewhat bucked the trend and continued to be successful even during times of financial hardship.

This has also been helped by the increased investment that the dock has been bestowed with of late. In late February 2013, the port stated that an ongoing funding programme of £5 million has allowed it to deepen berths and the new river has meant that it is now capable of handling much bigger vessels. This is especially important at a time when container ships are continuing to grow in size.

Passenger traffic has also been increasing with the Port of Tyne seeing 598,000 people pass through the facility over the past year.