The port of Antwerp handled 48,166,806 tonnes of freight in the first three months of this year, 2.5% more than in the same period last year. Container freight did well, while ro/ro and liquid bulk also produced good growth figures.
Containers and breakbulk
The container volume rose once more during the first quarter by 2.1%, to 26,004,571 tonnes. This corresponds to 2,146,392 TEU (up 0.9%). Ro/ro also did well during the past three months, with 1,184,608 tonnes or an increase of 5.8% compared with the first quarter of last year. The number of cars handled for its part rose by 2.5% to 313,436. Conventional breakbulk however was down by 9.1% during the first quarter, to 2,407,726 tonnes. Steel in particular suffered a significant contraction during the first two months of the year due to the weak steel market, although the volume picked up sharply again in March. The result for the quarter was a total of 1,560,753 tonnes, representing a fall of 5.5%. The drop in conventional volumes is a trend that is also making itself felt in neighbouring countries.
The volume of liquid bulk rose over the past three months by 6.2% to 15,095,059 tonnes. Petroleum derivatives for their part totalled 11,046,650 tonnes by the end of March, an increase of 9.9%. Chemicals (2,732,488 tonnes) and crude oil (1,220,831 tonnes) on the other hand were down slightly, by 2.8% and 1.3% respectively.
The dry bulk volume finished the quarter at 3,474,842 tonnes, a decrease of 2.3% compared with the same period last year. As before, the amount of coal handled was largely responsible for this contraction. During the past three months the coal volume was down by 44%, to 299,991 tonnes. Ore (up 36.6% to 794,643 tonnes) and sand and gravel (up 39.6% to 331.459 tonnes) did significantly better than in the first three months of 2013.
During the past three months 3,443 seagoing ships called at the port of Antwerp, down 4.0% compared with the same period last year. On the other hand the gross tonnage of these vessels was up by 0.7%, to 80,405,925 GT, thus confirming the trend towards larger and more heavily laden ships calling at Antwerp.
Port of Antwerp, April 28, 2014