The Port of Antwerp’s TEU throughput grew by 4.3% year-on-year (YoY) despite the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other geo-political issues, such as Brexit.
In a statement, the Port said Brexit had caused “major challenges” due to more controls, longer transit times and higher costs, which led to a decrease in trade with the UK.
Despite these difficult circumstances, the Port recorded an 11.1% YoY growth in total throughput with the UK and 12.1% with Ireland in the first half of the year compared to the first six months of 2020.
In preparation for Brexit, Port of Antwerp is fully committed to further expanding the short sea connections with the UK and Ireland in order to realise the modal shift from ferry to container transport.
Five years after the Brexit referendum, the port of Antwerp is now connected to 12 British and Irish ports and we see that Irish importers and exporters are increasingly ignoring the land bridge across the UK and opting for a direct maritime connection.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp, commented, “We knew that Brexit would have major consequences for freight transport between Europe and the United Kingdom.
“By properly preparing and focusing on shortsea connections and LoLo cargo, we can convert challenges into opportunities.
“The positive half-year figures in transhipment with the United Kingdom and Ireland confirm this. After Brexit, Antwerp wants to be the gateway between Europe and the United Kingdom and Ireland more than ever.”