In 2019 Port of Antwerp scored strong growth for the seventh year in a row, with the freight volume up 1.3% to 238 million tons.
Although some segments are clearly under pressure due to economic reasons the port is making progress overall, a statement made by the port read. But this progress is not just economic: in social terms the port is also making clear steps in favor of sustainability and mobility.
Despite increasing tension in world trade, it achieved strong growth this year once more in terms of total freight volume, the port said. Container freight gained market share (up from 27.5% to 28.2%), while the dry bulk segment for its part saw its total volume expand by 3.4%.
In breakbulk on the other hand, with steel as the main product, the consequences of turbulence in world were clearly felt, resulting in an overall contraction of 13%. In the liquid bulk segment too the volume was down, by 4.4%, due mainly to the slowdown in economic growth and fluctuations in oil prices.
On sustainability at the port, Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren said: “We are using the technology and expertise that we have in the port to smooth the path towards becoming a carbon-neutral port. We are striving for a multi-fuel port where various sustainable fuels are available beside one another.
“In the near future we’ll be experimenting with tugs powered by sustainable methanol hydrogen. Other interesting avenues that we are exploring are Carbon Capture & Utilisation and Carbon Capture & Storage, along with ways of re-using carbon in circular processes. It is our ambition to make the sustainable transition a reality, and Port of Antwerp has a pioneering role to play here.”
In addition, Port of Antwerp continues to put great efforts into improving mobility, by more efficient consolidation of freight traffic, further digitisation of the port infrastructure and coordinated management of rail infrastructure.
“A growing port is a port in motion, and we aim to further extend the modal shift in future. Last year 24 million tonnes of freight was carried by rail. That’s 7% of the total freight volume. We aim to double this to 15% by 2030. Pipelines too have an increasingly important role to play,” Vandermeiren concluded.