The port of Antwerp has achieved a record freight volume for the fifth straight year in a row. In 2017 the port handled 223,606,610 tonnes of freight, an increase of 4.4% compared with the previous year.
Practically all sectors turned in an excellent performance: the container volume expanded in tonnage by 4.3% (123 million tonnes), liquid bulk such as oil derivatives by 5.7% (73.1 million tonnes), and conventional breakbulk such as steel by 4.8% (10.3 million tonnes), while ro/ro completed the growth list with 10.5% (5.1 million tonnes). Only dry bulk such as coal and ores lagged behind in the tables, finishing the year with a drop of 3.7% (12.2 million tonnes).
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, drew positive conclusions: “Finishing the year with such strong growth figures gives us confidence for the future. The port companies too remain firmly convinced of the advantages of Antwerp and the strengths that it has to offer, witness the many investments that we were able to welcome in 2017. In 2018 we seek to build further on the momentum of the previous year. This means that we will take the entire world as the scale for our decisions, with maximum facilitation for our customers as the basis.”
The container volume rose in 2017 by 4.3% in tonnage (to 122,969,409 tonnes) and by 4.1% in terms of the number of standard containers (to 10,450,897 TEU, or twenty-foot equivalent units). The last quarter of 2017 scored best in relative terms for the year as a whole, with growth of 7% (in TEU) compared with the last quarter of the previous year.
Jacques says: “In the coming years too we expect further growth in the container volume, and so in 2018 we will continue to work hard on providing additional container handling capacity in Antwerp.”