Port of Antwerp continues to grow and consolidates strong position in reefer market

Port of Antwerp continues to grow and consolidates strong position in reefer market

Container traffic enjoys further growth

After nine months, Port of Antwerp records a total throughput of 179.1 million tonnes, a rise of 4.8% compared to last year and the same level as 2019. Despite the still persevering operational challenges, all goods flows are recording growth. The reefer segment is also continuing to grow.

Growth in all segments

Container traffic continues to enjoy continuous growth, increasing 2.3% in tonnes (105.4m tonnes) and 2.8% in TEUs (9,100,620 TEUs) after nine months compared to 2020. Conventional breakbulk has grown by 62.7%, primarily due to the strong growth in steel trade (+65.9%). September was the best month of the year for the conventional breakbulk segment and even the best month since June 2011. RoRo is up 18.2% compared to the same period in 2020. In addition to the increased handling of commercial vehicles, wood and building materials are also notable risers.

Dry bulk throughput is up by 9.3%. The growth in fertilizers (+25%) and scrap (+13.5%) play a significant role in this regard.  Despite a sharp drop in the handling of crude oil (-68.5%), the handling of liquid bulk increased by 2.2% thanks to the strong performance in the chemicals segment, which grew by 9.8% and of oil derivatives which did 4% better than the previous year, mainly due to an increase in non-fuel related derivatives and energy gases.

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Seagoing vessels

In the period January-September, 10,608 seagoing vessels called at Antwerp, representing a rise of 3.6% compared to the same period in 2020.

Sustained growth figures for reefers

The number of reefer containers grew by 3.6% compared with the same period last year. Reefer containers contain fresh products including fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, pharmaceutical products and chemicals. Last year, the port already exceeded the worldwide growth in the reefer market with a total volume of 1 million TEU of reefer containers. This trend is clearly continuing, and with it the port of Antwerp is consolidating its role as an important player in the reefer segment.

The increased volume of reefer containers in Antwerp is partly due to increased demand. European consumers are attaching increasing importance to health and healthy food, and the pandemic has only reinforced and accelerated this trend. On the other hand, the growth is due to the strong maritime position in the shipping areas of Latin America, Africa and the United States, and with countries such as China and Singapore. In addition, the port offers specialised terminals, coldstores and logistics service providers with a special focus on reefer cargo.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: "Our ambition is to be the pre-eminent perishables port in Europe. Last year, despite the difficult circumstances, we already notched up excellent growth in the reefer segment, thanks to our strengths in terms of location and service. This year, we are reaffirming and strengthening our market position. The growth figures, for all segments, are proof that our resilience allows us to turn challenges into opportunities."
Annick De Ridder, port alderwoman: "Despite continuing operational challenges such as disrupted container liner shipping, pressure on the terminals due to the pandemic and delays, we continue to record growth in all segments. What is more, September was an exceptionally good month for breakbulk, reflecting the hard work of all employees. These figures once again confirm the resilience of our port and the flexibility of everyone who ensures that our port continues to operate."

 

 

About Port of Antwerp

As Europe's second-largest port, the Port of Antwerp is a major lifeline for the Belgian economy: more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations ensure global connectivity. The Port of Antwerp annually handles around 231 million tonnes of international maritime freight, and is home to Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster. The Port of Antwerp accounts, directly and indirectly, for a total of around 143.000 jobs and more than €20 billion added value.  

True to its mission 'a home port vital for a sustainable future’, Antwerp Port Authority aims to flexibly respond to a rapidly evolving maritime market, allowing the port to continue playing its role as a leading world port. The emphasis in this respect is on cooperation, adaptability, a strong focus on innovation and digitisation, and on sustainable added value, as well as on responsibility towards society. 

Antwerp Port Authority is a limited liability company of public law, with the City of Antwerp as sole shareholder. It employs over 1.600 people. Port alderman Annick De Ridder is chairman of the Board of Directors and Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the day-to-day management. www.portofantwerp.com  

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to communicatie@portofantwerp.com

Port of Antwerp
Havenhuis
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp
Belgium