Booming container business in Antwerp port

Port of Antwerp experiences strong first half year 2015; ro/ro volume was up by 3.9 per cent

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The port of Antwerp handled 104.5 million tonnes of freight in the first six months of this year, up 6.4 per cent on the same period last year. The strong performance was mainly due to the impressive growth in container freight and in liquid bulk (also up 7.4%). However, the conventional breakbulk volume lagged behind the overall growth.
The container volume expressed as the number of standard boxes handled (twenty-foot equivalent units) rose by 9.5 per cent during the first six months, to 4.84 million TEU. Expressed in tonnes it amounted to 57.5 million tonnes (up 7.4%). The formation of an alliance between several container shipping companies has clearly acted in favour of Antwerp. This made itself felt in particular in trade to and from the Far East, resulting in a sharp growth in the container volume handled in the Deurganck dock (up 28.2%). It is expected that when the MSC shipping company moves its operations from the Delwaide dock to the Deurganck dock the growth in the latter will continue to be strong.
The ro/ro volume for its part was up by 3.9 per cent to 2.44 million tonnes, although the number of cars handled fell by 9.6% to 581,458. Conventional breakbulk on the other hand was down by 3.9 per cent. At the end of the first six months the volume handled stood at 4.83 million tonnes. The iron and steel volume rose slightly, up 1.3 per cent to 3.34 million tonnes. The decline in the breakbulk segment is due to the fall in the volume of fruit.
The amount of dry bulk handled expanded by 3.2 per cent to 7.1 million tonnes after the first half year. The number of seagoing ships calling at Antwerp during the first six months came to 7,075, up 1.2 per cent on the same period last year.