ANTWERP, Belgium, Dec. 29 /CNW/ - By the end of this year the port of Antwerp is expected to have handled 178 million tonnes of freight, up 13% from the recession year of 2009. The increase is mainly due to container freight, which has once more passed the 100 million-tonne mark and indeed set a new record! Liquid bulk also performed very well in 2010, setting an all-time record just like containers.
The other side of the coin is conventional/breakbulk, which although it did better than in 2009 still remains below the 2008 level. Despite this Antwerp remains the leading breakbulk port in Europe, although this position has been coming under increasing pressure lately.
The container volume rose by 17.8% to 102,775,000 tonnes. In terms of TEU it was up by 16.1% to 8,483,000 TEU. Ro/ro for its part also increased, by 14.8% to 3.6 million tonnes. In comparison with 2008, however, it is still down by 16.9%. Imports of new cars in particular are struggling to get back to the level of 2008. Conventional/breakbulk has increased by 6.3% to 11.1 million tonnes, but remains far below the level in 2008 (down 34.4%). In comparison with 2008 conventional/breakbulk is the sector having the greatest difficulty in recovering from the recession.
The volume of bulk freight is trending up once more, up 7% on the previous year. Both liquid bulk (up 4.8%) and dry bulk (up 12.0%) recorded growth figures. Liquid bulk has even performed better than in 2008, having expanded by 5.4 % since then. Crude oil (up 20.67%) and chemicals (up 18 %) are the absolute top performers in this segment. While dry bulk has done better than in 2009 (up 12%), it still lags well behind its 2008 level (down The volume of coal handled continues to decline (down 16.3%). The volumes of ore (up 19.5 %), grain (up 14.5 %), fertilisers (up 56.8%) and sand and gravel (up 22 %) are all rising once more.
The figures show that Antwerp is further strengthening its position as the second-largest container port in Europe. And in liquid bulk too Antwerp is performing very well. These two sectors, which between them make up 80% of the total volume, will continue to form sources of growth for the port of Antwerp in future.
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