Port of Antwerp Container Traffic Grows 4.3 Percent

Port of Antwerp Container Traffic Grows 4.3 Percent

The Port of Antwerp’s container handling increased 4.3 percent year-over to 20-foot equivalent units in the first six months of 2011, port authority said Wednesday.

Container volume reached 4.4 million 20-foot equivalent units in the first half, up 51.3 compared to a year earlier.

In tonnage terms the box trade increased by 3.4 percent to 53 million metric tons.

The overall tonnage of all cargo handled by Antwerp during the first half increased by 10.4 percent to 96 million metric tons, compared to 87 million metric tons in the same period of 2010.

The port’s general and breakbulk freight increased by 16.9 percent in the six months from the same period last year. The total amount for the first six months was 6.4 million metric tons.

Steel (4.4 million metric tons), the traditional mainstay of this segment, experienced particularly strong growth of 48 percent. Steel imports more than doubled.

The results for other types of general and breakbulk cargo were mixed: the volume of paper and cellulose (0.4 million metric tons) was down by 44.5%, while the fruit volume (0.7 million metric tons) was up by 3.2 percent.

Roll-on, roll-off cargo increased by 15.8 percent to 2.1 million metric tons during the first half. The number of cars handled rose by 19.1 percent as a total of 526,841 cars were loaded or unloaded during the first six months.

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