Port of Antwerp maintains cargo throughput despite pandemic pressures

ANTWERP, BELGIUM - JUL 9, 2013: Reach stackers in the Port of Antwerp.

The Port of Antwerp posted growth in the majority of its goods flows in its first quarter despite pressures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit.

Total cargo throughput remained stable at 59.1 million tonnes compared to the same period last year, with container throughput growing by 2.3% TEU compared to Q1 2020.

All goods flows except liquid bulk recorded growth at the port, which is anticipating continually busy terminals as global shipping continues to deal with the fallout of the Suez Canal crisis.

Port of Antwerp says it is monitoring the status of increased cargo due to the Suez incident, including increasing inland storage capacity and making use of inland shipping and rail.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO, Port of Antwerp, said during the past year the port has been confronted with disruptions to the supply chain, including COVID-19, Brexit, and the Suez.

“[The] Port of Antwerp is proving in these challenging times how agile and resilient it is,” he added.

“The worldwide spread over different sailing areas, the large storage capacity and the professionalism and efficiency of the Antwerp port community are the basic ingredients of our success.”

The port’s breakbulk segment had its best quarter since the second quarter of 2019. The throughout of iron and steel, grew by 18.2%.

RoRo throughput remained stable compared to Q1 2020 in both new and second-hand vehicles.

Annick De Ridder, Port Alderman, said, “The economic urgency for extra container capacity has thus been demonstrated again and more than ever.

“The figures confirm the resilience of our port and of all employees who are active on the port platform. They still ensure that everything continues to run and that the Port of Antwerp can continue to play its crucial role in supplying our country and economy.”

The Port of Antwerp’s Europa Terminal expansion will unlock the possibility of two megamax ships operating simultaneously at the terminal as the Port continues to capitalise on the growth in TEU traffic.

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