Lerwick Harbour has seen a boost of activity following the easing of Covid restrictions compared to the same first half year period last year when the full effects of lockdown were being felt.
Lerwick Port Authority chief executive, Captain Calum Grains, said: “Various positive factors in the six months to June have contributed to better half-year figures. We are gradually seeing a turnaround in port activity, with reasons to feel hopeful of continued progress if lockdowns can be avoided.”
The 1,969 vessel arrivals were down 0.5 per cent in the six months to June, with the overall tonnage of shipping up 7 per cent at 3,700,903 gross tonnes, which included increases in vessels servicing existing oil and gas activity, with more diving support and standby vessels offsetting a drop in supply vessels and anchor handlers.
Decreases were seen in fishing vessel arrivals.
Cargo handled by all sectors at the deep-water Shetland port increased 11 per cent to 379,067 tonnes.
There was a 14 per cent increase in roll-on/-roll-off cargo tonnage on the Aberdeen/Kirkwall routes for the period from increased passenger travel, plus shipments for the Viking onshore windfarm getting underway.
The combined effects of the market downturn and Covid-19 saw offshore oil and gas cargo down 2 per cent.
The easing of Covid-related travel restrictions also increased ferry passenger footfall, at 30,920, representing a 58 per cent rise compared to the same six-month period in the previous year. Scottish ports remained closed to cruise ships throughout the first half of 2021.