The Port of Antwerp closed 2016 with a record freight volume of 214,057,529 tonnes in 2016, up 2.7% on the previous year, mainly driven by containerized and liquid cargo volumes.
The container segment experienced strong growth both in tonnes and in the number of containers, the port authority said. In terms of TEU, the number of containers handled last year rose by 4% and reached 10,037,318 TEU, the first time ever that TEU numbers surpassed the 10 million mark at the port.
In terms of containerized tonnage, the figure was slightly higher at 4.1%. In the twelve-month period, the figure stood at 117,909,533 tonnes of containerized freight.
The fact that the growth was 0.1% lower than projected at the end of 2016 was due to the thick mist that blanketed the port during the last days of December and caused delays for some large container carriers, the port authority said.
The volume of ro/ro cargo for its part was down by 1.8% to 4,568,874 tonnes, with the number of cars handled falling by 2.8% to 1,189,563. Conventional breakbulk experienced a similar drop, down 2% to 9,803,718 tonnes at the end of 2016.
The liquid bulk volume expanded during the past 12 months by 3.8% to 69,224,501 tonnes. Oil derivatives were up by as much as 7.1%, to 51,310,284 tonnes. In the meantime there was further growth in the amount of chemicals, up 1.1% to 13,592,806 tonnes. However imports and exports of crude oil fell over the course of the year, finishing down 17.4% at 3,977,722 tonnes.
The dry bulk volume contracted by 9.1% to 12,550,903 tonnes. The volume of coal handled during the past 12 months came to 1,042,383 tonnes, 34.2% less than the previous year. The ore volume also fell by 10.5%, to 2,115,868 tonnes.
A total of 14,473 seagoing ships called at the port of Antwerp in the course of 2016, 0.4% more in comparison with the previous year. However the gross tonnage was up 9.1% to 401,085,305 GT.