Antwerp traffic returns to one million TEU

The Port of Antwerp handled one million TEU in September

The Port of Antwerp handled more than a million TEU in one month for the first time since April as it continues to slowly recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the Port said its container volume started to recover since July after a low point in May and June. Transshipment of containers in particular has helped the Port’s volume and limit its year-on-year (YoY) January-September losses to 4.4%.

“Despite the impact of the corona crisis on the global production and logistics chains and the associated worldwide drop in demand,” it said “the port of Antwerp remains very resilient in these difficult times. 

In the third quarter, TEU traffic in the Far East and within Europe in particular picked up. Volume only fell by -0.2% in TEU YoY. The number of blank sailings has been declining from August. 

In the period January-September, 10,241 sea-going vessels called at Antwerp, which represents a decrease of 5.3% YoY. The gross tonnage of these vessels decreased by 6.3%, a sign that ports may have to rely on fewer but larger ships to maintain volumes in the post-COVID environment.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: “The impact of the global supply chain coming to a standstill due to the corona crisis remains tangible. The imminent Brexit is also creating uncertainty in the market. Thanks to the recovery in container traffic, the consequences for the total cargo traffic in Antwerp remain limited. 2020 will certainly not be a record year like the past 7 years, but thanks to our resilience and container handling we can limit the damage. ”

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