Antwerp will raise harbor dues by 2 percent in 2012, the first increase in three years, as Europe’s largest port aim to fund infrastructure improvements.
The increase is lower than a 3.5 percent rise in Hamburg port dues in 2012 but represents a significant contrast with the decision of close rival Rotterdam to freeze dues for the third year running.
“When it comes to setting the level of dues, the Port Authority remains a very stable partner for port users,” said Port CEO Eddy Bruyninckx.
“The rates policy ... is characterized by continuity, not by day-to-day considerations with sudden increases or decreases,” he said in a thinly veiled swipe at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest container hub.
The Belgian port said it will continue to offer a 10 percent discount to environmentally friendly ships.
Hamburg, which regained second spot in the European container rankings from Antwerp this year, capped the higher dues for container ships at 11,000 20-foot equivalent units.
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