This was achieved through a strong growth in containerised freight making up the major part of the port’s handling: 117.9 mln tonnes (+4.1%), or 10,037,318 TEU (+4.0%). Thus, Antwerp has risen above the 10 mln TEU mark for the first time in its history. The port notes the volume could have been even larger unless the thick mist had blanketed the port during the last days of December causing delays for some large container carriers.
Although in 2015 the port’s container traffic grew by 7.5%, to 9.6 mln TEU, the growth of 4% in tough conditions of 2016 marks a record. Journal of Commerce names Antwerp the star performer in 2016 highlighting its above-average market growth, which helps Europe’s second-largest container hub narrow the gap with leader Rotterdam and pull further ahead of third-ranked Hamburg.
The next large part of Antwerp’s volume is constituted by liquid bulk, which expanded by 3.8% to 69.2 mln tonnes.
However, other cargoes show negative figures in 2016. The dry bulk segment contracted by 9.1% to 12.6 mln tonnes, due to drop in coal and ore volumes. The ro-ro cargo was down by 1.8% to 4.6 mln tonnes, with the number of cars handled falling by 2.8% to 1,189,563. Conventional breakbulk experienced a similar drop, down 2.0% to 9.8 mln tonnes.