Freight News, Sea

Antwerp-Bruges makes progress against strong headwinds

[ July 14, 2022   //   ]

The total throughput of Port of Antwerp-Bruges was 147.2 million tonnes in the first six months of this year, an increase of just 1.4% compared to the same period last year.

The slight growth came despite a decline in the container segment due to ongoing global congestion problems.

Container throughput was down 9.8% in tonnes and 6.2% in TEU compared to a strong first half in 2021 due to the global disruption of liner shipping, vessel delays. Throughput of containers related to Russia decreased by 39% due to the conflict in Ukraine.

Conventional general cargo however grew 22% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021 and was the highest throughput since 2011. This was due mainly to the increase in steel imports with those from Russia banned by sanctions being replaced by imports from other countries.

Ro ro saw an increase of 8.9% with traffic to and from the UK and Ireland showing significant growth, at 3.8 million tonnes and 0.6 million tonnes respectively, up 6.8% and 47% compared with the first six months of 2021. The number of new and used cars shows a slight growth of 2.5% and 1.7%, while the number of trucks decreased by 19%.

The dry bulk segment grew by 17.6%. Fertilizers, after a strong 2021, experienced a loss in throughput (-15.4%), largely due to the sanctions imposed on Russia

Annick De Ridder, vice-mayor of the City of Antwerp and president of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges said: “Despite a difficult geopolitical and macro-economic context, this unified port is standing as the economic engine of Flanders. This is proven by the growth compared to the same period last year in cargo handling, roll-on/roll-off traffic, dry and liquid bulk and the particularly strong increase in conventional general cargo (21.8%) with even the highest throughput volume in 10 years. This compensates for the decline in container handling. At the same time, these figures make it clear that additional container capacity and investments in strategic infrastructure are indispensable in order to secure our position as a world port.”