Antwerp Container Volume Hits Record

Antwerp Container Volume Hits Record

First-quarter container throughput at the port of Antwerp climbed 7.9 percent from the same quarter last year, as its terminal handled a record volume of 2.17 million 20-foot-equivalent units, compared to 2.01 million a year earlier.

The port handled 47,374,451 metric tons of cargo in the first quarter, up 12.7 percent from a year ago.

The total cargo volume, the container volume and the volume of liquid bulk were all higher than the level reached at the same point in the record year of 2008.

“The port of Antwerp has clearly shaken off the recession, even if the volumes of conventional/breakbulk and dry bulk continue to lag,” said Antwerp Port Authority CEO Eddy Bruyninckx.

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“Both these sectors suffered heavily during the recession, but are slowly recovering. Moreover, the recovery is not simply related to the state of the economy,” he said.

In terms of tonnage, the Antwerp container volume in the first quarter of this year grew 7.8 percent to 26.2 million metric tons, compared to 24.3 million metric tons a year earlier.

The port handled 2.9 million metric tons of breakbulk cargo, an increase of 11.7 percent year-over-year. The best performer in this segment was steel, which rose in volume 41.8 percent to 1.9 million metric tons.

Roll-on, roll-off volume was up 24.1 percent to 1 million metric tons, with the number of cars handled growing 27.9 percent to 252,532.

During the first quarter, a total of 3,741 seagoing ships called at Antwerp, 6.9 percent more than in the same period last year.

-- Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeterTLeach.