The Port of Antwerp handled 98.2 million tonnes of freight during the first six months of this year. This represents growth of 2.7% compared to the same period in 2013.
The container volume was up by 4% to 53.5 millon tonnes, or 4.4 million TEU (up 2.9%).
The ro/ro volume rose by 1.3% to 2.3 million tonnes, while the number of cars handled rose by 1.4% to 643,164 units.
Conventional breakbulk for its part was down by 6% to 5 million mainly due to the fact that more and more fruit imports are being carried in containers.
Steel by contrast experienced a stronger second quarter, finishing the period with modest growth of 0.2%, to 3.2 million tonnes.
The volume of liquid bulk expanded in the same period by 4% to 30.4 million tonnes. The strongest growth was shown by oil derivatives, up by 7.8% to 22.3 million tonnes.
Chemicals and crude oil for their part were down by 4.2% and 7.4% respectively. Despite this the port reinforced its position after the record year of 2013, when liquid bulk experienced growth of 31.9%.
Dry bulk contracted by 5% to 6.8 million tonnes, due mainly to the fall of 30.5% in the volume of coal. This was partly offset by increases in the volumes of ore (up 9.2% to 1,361,762 tonnes) and sand and gravel (up 23.9% to 646,062 tonnes).
The number of seagoing ships calling at the port during the first half of the year declined by 3.4% to 6,991 units, although the gross tonnage rose by 1% to 165,121,359 GT.
This confirms the trend towards fewer but more heavily laden vessels.
The figures published this spring by the National Bank of Belgium once more confirm the crucial role of the port in the Flemish economy: in 2012 (the last year for which full figures are available) the Port of Antwerp created direct added value of 9.97 billion euros (USD 13.32bn), representing growth of 3% compared with 2011.
Direct employment rose too, by 1.5% to 60,873 full-time equivalents.
Press Release; August 6, 2014