In the first nine months of 2019, compared to the same period last year, cargo handled for the oil and gas sector was up 77% at 67,537, with vessel arrivals higher by 14.2% at 289 and the tonnage of shipping jumping 46.8% to 1,534,941 gross tonnes.

Lerwick Port Authority Chief Executive, Captain Calum Grains, commented: “The continuing upward movement in servicing offshore activity in the northern North Sea and Atlantic is encouraging and we remain cautiously optimistic for the future.”

The total number of arrivals and the tonnage of vessels remained steady during the period, at 3,936 vessels and 10,212,403 gross tonnes respectively

Cargo increased 9% to 679,744 tonnes, including a 4% rise in freight on Serco NorthLink’s roll-on/roll-off vessels on the Aberdeen/Kirkwall routes.

The daily ferries carried 9.6% more passengers, at 122,061. Fewer-than-anticipated passengers during the March-October cruise season meant total passengers at the Shetland port decreased 1% to 197,636 over the nine months.

Captain Grains said: “The footfall highlights ferries as an alternative to flying to the mainland and the importance of meeting users’ expectations. Cruise bookings for next year should mean a record season.”

There were 182,554 boxes of white fish landed between January and September, a decrease of 8.3% and with an average price of £2,021.00 per tonne, up 3.8% compared to the same period in 2018.

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