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Port of Antwerp achieves strong performance in first half year 2011

Thursday, 08 September 2011


ANTWERP (BE) ' During the first six months of this year the port of Antwerp handled 96 million tonnes of freight (95,869,516 tonnes). This represents an increase of 10.4% compared with the first half of 2010, when the volume came to 87 million tonnes. The container volume in Antwerp was up by 3.4% in comparison with the period JanuaryJune 2010, from 51.3 to 53 million tonnes. In terms of standard containers (twenty-footequivalent units) the volume amounted to 4.4 million TEU, representing an increase of 4.3%.*

The container trade recovered particularly well after the recession, having last year already exceeded the record level (in tonnes) previously achieved in 2008. Indeed, in 2010 Antwerp experienced the strongest growth on the Hamburg ' Le Havre range.

Conventional/breakbulk freight also experienced growth, with 16.9% more being loaded and unloaded from January to June than in the same period last year. The total amount for the first six months was 6.4 million tonnes. Steel (4.4 million tonnes), the traditional mainstay of this segment, experienced particularly strong growth of 48%. In fact steel imports more than doubled. For the rest, however, the results for onventional/breakbulk were mixed: the volume of paper and cellulose (0.4 million tonnes) was down by 44.5%, while the fruit volume (0.7 million tonnes) was up by 3.2%. The fruit trade in any case remained stable during the

In the ro/ro sector the port of Antwerp experienced an expansion of 15.8%, to 2.1 million tonnes. The number of cars handled rose by 19.1%, with 526,841 cars being loaded or unloaded during the past six months.

The volume of bulk freight rose by 21.5% in the first half of 2011, to 34.3 million tonnes. The increase was mainly due to the strong growth in liquid bulk, which was up by 31.8% to 24.2 million tonnes. The volume of oil derivatives (15.7 million tonnes) expanded by 42.2%. Crude oil (2.5 million tonnes) and chemicals (5.8 million tonnes) also expanded, by 17.1% and 16.8% respectively.

The excellent figures reflect Antwerp's position as the largest integrated petrochemical cluster in Europe. The sector continues to develop rapidly, with companies investing in infrastructure and in sustainable energy solutions. In 2011 there was significant expansion of storage facilities for oil derivatives, thanks to investments by among others Sea-invest, Oiltanking and ATPC. ITC Rubis and NoordNatie Terminals for their part built large new amounts of tank storage for the chemical industry, which coincided with the general revival of the sector.

The volume of dry bulk for its part rose by 2.3% to 10 million tonnes. Growth was experienced by among others coal (up 8.4% to 2.8 million tonnes), fertilisers (up 7.4% to 2.5 million tonnes) and sand and gravel (up 0.8% to 0.8 million tonnes. On the other hand there was contraction in the volumes of ore (down 3.7% to 1.6 million tonnes) and scrap metal (down 11.3% to 0.6 million tonnes). The number of seagoing ships calling at the port rose by 7.3%, to 7,745. The gross tonnage
for its part rose by 13.4% to 158,678,748 GT.

The number of freight handling jobs expanded in the first half of 2011 by 4.8%, to 794,232. By way of comparison, the number at the end of the first half of 2010 was 757,674.

© Port of Antwerp