The Port of Antwerp’s container traffic increased 3.7 percent in the first nine months of 2011 from a year earlier, trailing a 7.5 percent increase in total throughput.
The Belgian port handled 6.5 million 20-foot equivalent container units in January-September, while total traffic grew to 142 million metric tons from 132 million metric tons in the same period in 2010.
“The first half of the year proved to be fairly strong, but this was followed by a slowdown in growth in the third quarter,” the port authority said.
Break bulk traffic soared 16 percent to 9.7 million metric tons, driven by a 37.3 percent surge in steel shipments to 6.5 million metric tons. Other break/bulk cargoes fared less well, with paper and cellulose slumping 33 percent to 560,000 metric tons, while fruit shipments were up just 2.8 percent.
Roll-on, roll-off traffic grew 3 percent to 3 million metric tons and the number of cars handled jumped 15.2 percent to 772,836 units. Bulk freight rose 14 percent to 50.1 million metric tons, due mainly to a 21.6 percent increase in liquid bulks to 35.6 million metric tons.
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