The Port of Antwerp is expected to handle a total of 198.8 million tonnes of freight by the end of 2014 – an increase of 4.2% in comparison with 2013 and a new record for the port.
The previous record dates from 2013, when the freight volume came to 190.8 million tonnes. The record growth for 2014 was driven by container handling, which is up by 5.6% and liquid bulk by 5.4%.
The container trade shows impressive growth, both in tonnes and in number of boxes. The number of TEU rose by 4.5% to just under 9 million TEU. As a result, Antwerp should pass the nine million TEU mark in 2015.
The liquid bulk volume expanded over the past 12 months by 5.4% to 62.7 million tonnes. After the record year of 2013 in which the total growth of liquid bulk surged by 31.4%, 2014’s figures are still very significant.
Exports of liquid bulk in particular rose strongly by 17.8% because of the greater trading activities of some players. Imports remained more or less stable.
During the past 12 months, almost 13,000 seagoing ships called at the Port of Antwerp, which was a 1.7% reduction from 2013. The number of ultra-large container ships of 10,000 TEU or more is expected to reach 265 in 2014 – 67 more than in 2013.
The growth is particularly marked in the category of 13,000 TEU or more, with no fewer than 80 of these giant container carriers calling at Antwerp in 2014.
At the beginning of January, 2015, the Morten Maersk is expected in Antwerp, which at 18,000 TEU is still the largest container ship in service anywhere in the world.
Antwerp Sets New 2014 Freight Record. (Source: Port of Antwerp)