Port of Antwerp handled up to 98,229,046 tonnes in H1 2014

The port of Antwerp handled 98,229,046 tonnes of freight in the first six months of 2014. That is 2.7% more than in the same period last year, itself already a record year. Container freight once more contributed good growth figures, while liquid bulk too continued the upward trend, the company said in its press release.

The container freight volume rose by 4.0% during the first six months, to 53,553,954 tonnes. This corresponds to 4,416,132 TEU, an increase of 2.9%. March was an absolute record month for containers. Ro/ro freight for its part continued to perform well during the past six months, with a volume of 2,346,506 tonnes, 1.3% more than the same period last year, although the number of cars handled was down slightly (by 1.4%) to 643,164. Conventional breakbulk on the other hand produced negative figures, down by 6.0% to 5,028,876 tonnes. One important factor in this decline is that a proportion of the fruit imports now arrives in containers instead of conventional freight. To a certain extent the negative figures therefore indicate a shift in the method of transport rather than a fall in the absolute volume.

During the first six months of this year 6,991 ships called at Antwerp, 3.4% fewer than in the same period last year. On the other hand the gross tonnage rose by 1.0% to 165,121,359 GT, thus confirming the trend towards fewer but larger and more heavily laden ships being served in Antwerp.

The crucial importance of Antwerp for the Flemish economy is demonstrated once more in the updated report by the National Bank of Belgium about the economic significance of the Belgian ports. In 2012 (the last year for which full figures are available) Antwerp generated added value of 9.97 billion Euro, an increase of 3% on the previous year. The amount of direct employment also rose, with 60,873 direct employees compared with 59,965 the year before, an increase of 1.5%.



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