The strong freight figures for the first quarter at Antwerp port continued unabated in the second quarter. The container volume for its part rose by 8.2 per cent to 66,298,043 tonnes. In TEUs this indicates an increase to 5,567,905 TEUs (up 8.3 per cent). May was an all-time record month, with the port of Antwerp handling a peak container volume of more than 1 million TEUs.
Growth was experienced on all trade routes, both on the import and on the export side. Despite geopolitical tensions, there was a favourable economic climate with strong growth in consumer goods, wheeled vehicles and chemicals. Trade with Europe experienced the strongest growth, up 14.2 per cent, thanks in part to Antwerp being able to win back transhipment freight which last year suffered a dip due to a temporary shortage of dock labour. Trade with North America for its part was up by 10.3 per cent, although the first quarter of 2017 was fairly weak. On the Asian market, there was growth of 3 per cent, said a release.
Port alderman, Mr Marc Van Peel, said: “We appreciate the efforts of the Flemish government to arrive at a legally robust decision in favour of the complex project to build additional container capacity for our port. We now plead for a follow-up study of, among other, the nautical feasibility. Everybody stands to gain from a solution that will enable us to achieve the desired sustainable growth for our port. In this connection mobility is a constant concern for the Port Authority, to which it gives highest priority, and it goes without saying that we are prepared to take the right series of measures with all stakeholders. Creating additional commercially useful container capacity below the locks is a first step for us in the further development of the port.”