American Shipper

Antwerp’s box volume up 13%

Antwerp’s box volume up 13%

   The port of Antwerp handled 4.6 million TEUs in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 13 percent over the same period of 2003.

   The Antwerp Port Authority said the largest increase in the port’s traffic volume came from containers and roll-on/roll-off freight, both of which expanded by some 13 percent when compared to the first nine months of 2003. Container freight amounted to 51 million tons in the January-September period.

   Total port traffic including all commodities rose 7 percent to 113 million tons in the first nine months, as the port’s bulk business experienced mixed fortunes.

   The tonnage of dry bulk cargoes was up 6 percent to 20 million tons, but Antwerp’s volume of liquid bulk fell 1 percent to 26 million tons.

   The number of cars, trucks and trailers handled by the Belgian port rose 55,774 or 9 percent, due mainly to the growth in shortsea exports to the United Kingdom and Spain.

   Conventional general cargo rose more than 5 percent, thanks to higher imports of steel products, particularly from India, Iran and Turkey.

   From January to September, a total of 11,603 seagoing vessels called at the port of Antwerp, 1 percent fewer than a year earlier.

   “This is slightly down on the same period last year . although the ships themselves are getting steadily larger,” the Antwerp Port Authority said.