During the first quarter of 2022, Port of Zeebrugge realized a growth of +15.2 percent, accounting for a total tonnage of nearly 14 million tons. This positive final result means the icing on the cake for the era of Port of Zeebrugge as an economic and innovative hub in the north of West Flanders. From 28 April 2022, Port of Antwerp and Port of Zeebrugge will join forces as 'Port of Antwerp-Bruges'.
Results quarter 1 2022
From January to March 2022 Port of Zeebrugge recorded an evolution of +15.2%, accounting for a total cargo throughput of 13,838,535 tons (compared to 12,008,103 tons in the first quarter of 2021). With this performance, Port of Zeebrugge ends on a high for the final merger with Port of Antwerp.
With liquid bulk in the lead (+34.6%, of which LNG +41.5%), Port of Zeebrugge recorded splendid performances during the past quarter: roll-on/roll-off traffic rose by +16.4%, containers +4.2%, solid bulk +4.0% and the number of new cars handled +8.1%. Only breakbulk shows a slight decrease with -5.7%.
End in beauty
Roll-on/roll-off traffic is up +16.4% on the previous year. This means an increase of 583,663 tons, with 4,140,009 tons of cargo handling.
For Port of Zeebrugge, the United Kingdom is the most important trading partner. The destinations on the Thames (+12.5%) and the Humber (+18.3%) show strong growth. The total volume of goods from and to the UK rose by +10.9%. Services via Ireland also continue to grow strongly, with an increase of no less than +31%.
Container traffic sees an evolution of +4.2% compared to the first quarter of 2021. The total volume of containers rose from 4,922,322 to 5,130,623. Cosco Shipping Ports Zeebrugge has performed particularly well in recent months. Adjustments to the existing infrastructure will respond to the rapid growth in the coming year.
Liquid bulk rose the most with a growth of +34.6%. The total tonnage rose significantly from 2,976,369 to 4,005,847 tons compared to the first quarter of last year. LNG also experienced strong growth of +41.5% with an increase of 1,038,171 tons compared to March 2021. This progress is due in part to the greater volume capacity of the vessels.
General cargo experienced a slight decrease of -5.7%.
The number of new cars handled increased by a total of 49,020 units compared to spring 2021. During the first quarter of 2022, 657,769 new wagons were handled in Port of Zeebrugge.
In the first quarter of 2022, Port of Zeebrugge again welcomed 23 cruise ships. Between January and March 2021 the cruise sector was still at a standstill because of the pandemic.
Merger with Port of Antwerp starts a new chapter
The year 2022 will be marked by the new collaboration between the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge. Under the new name 'Port of Antwerp-Bruges' the two port platforms will further strengthen their position in the international logistics chain.
Dirk De fauw, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Port of Zeebrugge and Mayor of Bruges: "The magnificent results of Port of Zeebrugge are a fine ending to an era in which the port developed into a world player. As mayor of the City of Bruges and as chairman of the 'MBZ', Port of Zeebrugge is still best known in the region, I am extremely proud. We should all be, because the port is an absolute asset in our region and will remain so in the new structure. The merger with Port of Antwerp means a new beginning for the development of new activities and projects in Antwerp and Zeebrugge."
Tom Hautekiet, CEO Port of Zeebrugge: "The strong results during the first quarter of 2022 prove once again the dedication and motivation of all employees within Port of Zeebrugge. That 2022 is all about change is by now common knowledge. The merger with Port of Antwerp does not only mean the end of an era as 'the port of Zeebrugge', but also heralds a new adventure, in which each party will play a role in achieving the common objectives. By looking to the future together, we can develop new projects to meet everyone's interests and growth."