Update: Port of Antwerp Cranks Up the Volume

Belgium’s Port of Antwerp handled 199,012,082 tonnes of freight in 2014, a 4.3% increase compared to the previous year, and a new record for one of Europe’s largest ports.

The record growth was driven by the volume of containers (up 5.9%) and liquid bulk (up 5.6%). Negative performance was turned in by conventional breakbulk (down 2%) and dry bulk (down 6.1%).

The number of standard containers handled (twenty-foot equivalent units) was up by 4.7% compared to the last year, finishing at 8,977,738 TEUs. The total volume of containers handled in 12 months was  108,314,246 tonnes, up 5.9%.

Ro-ro for its part was down by 2.0% to 4,470,346 tonnes. The number of cars handled fell by 8.1% to 1,195,161 units. Conventional breakbulk showed a similar contraction, down by 2% to 9,884,522 tonnes at the end of 2014.

The volume of liquid bulk passing through the port rose last year by 5.6% to 62,833,647 tonnes. Of that amount, petroleum derivatives volumes increased by 6.8% to 46,068,093 tonnes. Crude oil too showed further growth in 2014 (up 6.5% to 4,984,606 tonnes), as did chemicals (up 1.5% to 11,375,122 tonnes).

The amount of dry bulk handled fell by 6.1% to 13,506,321 tonnes. The coal volume contracted even more sharply, down 34.9% to 1,417,900 tonnes.

In 2014 a total of 14,009 seagoing ships called at the Port of Antwerp. This is 1.5% fewer than in the previous year. On the other hand the overall gross tonnage rose by 1.7% to 335,275,551 GT.

The number of UCLS (ultra-large container ships of 10,000 TEU or more) was 266 by the end of December, 68 more than in the previous year. The growth is particularly marked in the category of 13,000 TEUs and over, with 82 more of these behemoths docking in Antwerp last year.