Antwerp’s box volume up 16.5% in 2007 to 8.2 million TEUs
Rotterdam passes 10 million-TEU, 400 million tons milestones
The Antwerp Port Authority on Wednesday said that a substantial rise in containerized cargo was the main driver behind an overall 9.3 percent growth in freight volume in 2007.
The Belgium port handled 182.9 million tons of cargo last year, up from 167 million tons in 2006. Container volume, expressed in tonnage, grew 17 percent to 94.5 million tons. In terms of twenty-foot equivalent units the growth was 16.5 percent to 8.18 million TEUs. The Deurganck tidal dock, which started operations in the summer of 2005, handled more than 1.5 million TEUs, up 89 percent over 2006. The authority said its largest container volume growth was in freight carried to and from China, Brazil, Malaysia and the United States.
Antwerp’s conventional/breakbulk volume in 2007 increased 7.9 percent to 19.8 million tons from 18.4 million tons. The growth was all on the import side, with a 27.2 percent increase. Conventional/breakbulk exports were down 10.2 percent. The port saw explosive growth in imports of iron and steel, mainly from China and India, with the volume of those commodities rising by 45 percent to 6.5 million tons. Forest products improved 4.4 percent to 3.3 million tons while fruit volume increased 3.4 percent to 1.3 million tons.
The port’s roll-on/roll-off traffic went up 14.8 percent to 4.4 million tons. The number of cars exported from Antwerp increased 20.5 percent to 625,478, which was mainly due to a new service to Gothenburg in Sweden. The port authority also noted an increase in exports of second-hand cars to West Africa. Imports rose 8.8 percent to 314,995 cars, including a higher number of Mazdas from Japan.
Bulk freight showed only a slight increase compared with 2006 to 64.1 million tons. Liquid bulk was up by 3.6 percent, while dry bulk was down by 6.2 percent.
A total of 16,689 ships called at the port in 2007, a 5.8 percent rise compared to 15,770 in 2006. The gross register tonnage was also up, 8.9 percent to an average 17,306 gt. The number of dockworkers employed at the port last year increased by slightly more than 50,000 to 1.75 million.