Port of Antwerp continues to grow and consolidates strong position in reefer market

Port of Antwerp continues to grow and consolidates strong position in reefer market

Container traffic enjoys further growth

After nine months, Port of Antwerp records a total throughput of 179.1 million tonnes, a rise of 4.8% compared to last year and the same level as 2019. Despite the still persevering operational challenges, all goods flows are recording growth. The reefer segment is also continuing to grow.

Growth in all segments

Container traffic continues to enjoy continuous growth, increasing 2.3% in tonnes (105.4m tonnes) and 2.8% in TEUs (9,100,620 TEUs) after nine months compared to 2020. Conventional breakbulk has grown by 62.7%, primarily due to the strong growth in steel trade (+65.9%). September was the best month of the year for the conventional breakbulk segment and even the best month since June 2011. RoRo is up 18.2% compared to the same period in 2020. In addition to the increased handling of commercial vehicles, wood and building materials are also notable risers.

Dry bulk throughput is up by 9.3%. The growth in fertilizers (+25%) and scrap (+13.5%) play a significant role in this regard. ​ Despite a sharp drop in the handling of crude oil (-68.5%), the handling of liquid bulk increased by 2.2% thanks to the strong performance in the chemicals segment, which grew by 9.8% and of oil derivatives which did 4% better than the previous year, mainly due to an increase in non-fuel related derivatives and energy gases.

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Seagoing vessels

In the period January-September, 10,608 seagoing vessels called at Antwerp, representing a rise of 3.6% compared to the same period in 2020.

Sustained growth figures for reefers

The number of reefer containers grew by 3.6% compared with the same period last year. Reefer containers contain fresh products including fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, pharmaceutical products and chemicals. Last year, the port already exceeded the worldwide growth in the reefer market with a total volume of 1 million TEU of reefer containers. This trend is clearly continuing, and with it the port of Antwerp is consolidating its role as an important player in the reefer segment.

The increased volume of reefer containers in Antwerp is partly due to increased demand. European consumers are attaching increasing importance to health and healthy food, and the pandemic has only reinforced and accelerated this trend. On the other hand, the growth is due to the strong maritime position in the shipping areas of Latin America, Africa and the United States, and with countries such as China and Singapore. In addition, the port offers specialised terminals, coldstores and logistics service providers with a special focus on reefer cargo.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: "Our ambition is to be the pre-eminent perishables port in Europe. Last year, despite the difficult circumstances, we already notched up excellent growth in the reefer segment, thanks to our strengths in terms of location and service. This year, we are reaffirming and strengthening our market position. The growth figures, for all segments, are proof that our resilience allows us to turn challenges into opportunities."
Annick De Ridder, port alderwoman: "Despite continuing operational challenges such as disrupted container liner shipping, pressure on the terminals due to the pandemic and delays, we continue to record growth in all segments. What is more, September was an exceptionally good month for breakbulk, reflecting the hard work of all employees. These figures once again confirm the resilience of our port and the flexibility of everyone who ensures that our port continues to operate."

 

 

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About Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With an overall throughput of 289 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of 21 billion euros.
 
The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear - to become the world's first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. Together with the port community, customers and other partners, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively seeking innovative solutions for a sustainable future. High on the agenda is its responsibility for the environment and the surrounding society. 

The port sites of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are operated by the Antwerp-Bruges Port Authority, a limited liability company of public law with the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges as its shareholders. The port employs 1,800 people. Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De Ridder is President of the Board of Directors, the Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw is the Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management. 

www.portofantwerpbruges.com

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to [email protected]

Port of Antwerp-Bruges
Havenhuis
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp
Belgium