ABP South Wales, which runs the Port of Newport, saw an increase in the amount of cargo handled across several commodities last year as a result of continued investment in infrastructure and services.

Chemicals products and steel volumes were both 10 per cent up on 2017, while coal increased by 38 per cent.

Timber to support the regional construction trade saw a 22 per cent increase in imports. While the import and export of mineral products doubled in volume compared to the previous year, registering a rise of 102 per cent.

Several new businesses were welcomed to the ports in 2018. Notably, in October 2018, Dragon Asphalt leased a two acre site at the Port of Newport. This long-term lease has allowed them to open their first site and to service local markets.

Existing customers’ businesses also continued to grow at the ports. In June 2018, Puma Energy (UK) moved from Cardiff to a larger site in Newport. The new site has provided them with additional operational flexibility and the ability to accommodate larger vessels.

Investments were also made into key pieces of infrastructure across the ports.

In July 2018, a £2.7m project was completed to renew the outer lock gates and refurbish the middle lock gates at the Port of Newport. The work will protect the dock impoundment and locking operation for at least the next 60 years.

Matthew Kennerley, director, ABP South Wales, said: “Continued investment in our five ports has given both new and longstanding customers the support they need to grow their businesses.

“Our ports are vital strategic assets for the region and represent a unique logistical network for South Wales. ABP South Wales annually contributes £1.5bn to the UK economy while supporting 21,800 jobs across the nation.”