The Boom Continues at Antwerp Port
The port of Antwerp handled a freight volume of 51,023,670 tonnes in the first three months of this year, 5.9% more than in the same period last year. The container volume experienced rapid expansion of 8.5%, while liquid bulk for its part continued to show solid growth (up 4.7%).
The Port of Authority is naturally very satisfied with these figures, but nevertheless guards against over-optimism in view of the continuing turbulence and volatility in the market.
Containers and breakbulk
The container volume expanded by 8.5% during the first quarter, to 28,216,101 tonnes. In terms of standard containers this represents 2,351,299 TEU, an increase of 9.5%.
The ro/ro volume on the other hand contracted by 8.7% to 1,081,344 tonnes, with the number of cars handled falling by 6.9% to 291,900. The conventional freight volume also shrank, by 3.5%, with 2,322,921 tonnes being handled during the first quarter. At 1,566,113 tonnes the steel volume was practically the same as last year (up just 0.3%). The dip in the breakbulk segment is due among other things to a decline in the amount of fruit handled (down 37.7% to 173,321 tonnes).
The volume of liquid bulk handled in the port during the past three months rose by 4.7% to 15,801,788 tonnes. Petroleum derivatives for their part amounted to 11,931,034 tonnes, an increase of 8.0%. By contrast, chemicals (down 3.0% to 2,650,778 tonnes) and crude oil (down 7.0% to 1,135,059 tonnes) contracted during the first quarter.
The dry bulk volume clocked up at 3,601,516 tonnes, an increase of 3.6% compared with the first three months of 2014. The growth was due to the amount of sand and gravel handled, up by 63.3% to 541,293 tonnes. During the first quarter of this year a larger amount of coal was brought into the port, resulting in an increase of 24.6% to 373,829 tonnes.
During the past three months the number of seagoing ships calling at Antwerp was 3,408, or 1% fewer than in the same period last year. However, the aggregate gross tonnage rose by 4.2% to 83,804,319 GT.