Port of Antwerp-Bruges sees container volume decrease in Q1/Q2 2023

Port of Antwerp-Bruges sees container volume decrease in first half of 2023

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges has witness a decline in its total throughput, having fallen 5.5 per cent in the first six months of 2023 compared to the same time last year.

The downturn in demand for container shipping can be ascribed to the worldwide economic condition.

However, the port has managed to stand up well and has even gained market share in container handling when compared to other ports in the Hamburg-Le Havre area.

After two challenging years, operational issues and bottlenecks at container terminals were rectified, with diverted freight returning.

This results in an improvement in the second quarter (-4.6 per cent in TEU) compared to the results after the first quarter of this year (-5.8 per cent in TEU).

READ: World’s largest containership calls at Port of Antwerp-Bruges

The uncertain economic environment, declining industrial production, and low consumer confidence are causing a global slowdown in container transport demand of up to 9 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

This results in a 5.9 per cent decline in tonnes and a 5.2 per cent decrease in TEU at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges compared to the first six months of 2022.

The port received 10,188 ocean-going vessels in the first half of the year, a 2.8 per cent decrease. These vessels’ gross tonnage declined by 4.7 per cent.

READ: Port of Antwerp-Bruges implements radar and camera network

On the other hand, the refeer sector had a significant increase in the first six months of 2023, with the Port of Antwerp-Bruges reporting a 10.6 per cent increase over the same time last year.

Additionally, roll-on/roll-off traffic remained constant at the Belgian port, which recorded 1.8 million new automobiles transported in and out, a 15 per cent increase from 2022.

Furthermore, Ro-Ro traffic has maintained consistency at the Belgian port, who reported a 15 per cent increase from 2022 with approximately 1.8 million cars shipped in and out.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said: “As with other world ports, the economic situation is still posing major challenges, and this is reflected in the figures. But in these volatile conditions, the port is holding up relatively well.”

Annick De Ridder, Vice-Mayor of the City of Antwerp and President of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, stated: “The calls of the record ships show that we can receive the largest container ships and handle them thanks to our investments in high-performance infrastructure at the terminals.

“With record ships comes sufficient container capacity. Sustainable growth and Extra Container Capacity Antwerp therefore remain priorities to ensure our position as a world port and live up to our role as the economic engine of Flanders.”

This month, the Port of Antwerp Bruges, the port community, and NxtPort decided that all transport companies would be obliged to pick up containers based on Certified Pick up.

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