The port of Antwerp handled more than 184 million tonnes of freight in 2012. The definitive figures for last year demonstrate that the port is managing to do well despite the current economic climate.
According to Exim News Service, the port of Antwerp handled 184,134,516 tonnes of freight last year. This represents a drop of 1.6 per cent compared to 2011, when the volume was 187.2 million tonnes. The figures are slightly better than the provisional results presented at the end of December, showing that the port is managing to stand up well in the current climate affecting the shipping industry and the general economy.
The container freight volume in Antwerp remained at around the same level, with 8,635,169 TEUs (down 0.3 per cent). Expressed in tonnes, the fall amounted to 1 per cent, to 104,060,119 tonnes. The RoRo volume rose by 13 per cent, to 4,797,360 tonnes. The number of cars handled in 2012 came to 1,240,223, an increase of 14.8 per cent.
On the other hand, there was a fall in the volume of conventional break-bulk. During the past year, 10,894,712 tonnes of freight in this category was loaded and unloaded, 14.2 per cent less than the previous year. This result is mainly due to the contraction in the amount of steel handled (down 19.2 per cent to 6,809,218 tonnes), which, in turn, reflects the current market conditions. The volume of fruit fell by 3.2 per cent to 1,307,399 tonnes, while paper and cellulose experienced strong growth of 17.4 per cent, finishing at 895,593 tonnes.
The bulk freight volume was down by 1.1 per cent, to 64,382,325 tonnes. Liquid bulk, at 45,275,901 tonnes, fetched up just slightly short (by 1.6 per cent) of its record level in 2011. Imports and exports of oil derivatives were well up, by 7.2 per cent, ending at 31,988,678 tonnes. The volume of chemicals on the other hand was much less (down 8.2 per cent), totalling 10,211,428 tonnes. Dry bulk remained at the same level as last year (only 0.1 per cent higher), with 19,106,424 tonnes being handled.
Considerably more coal was handled in 2012 than in the previous year (up by 7 per cent to 5,726,247 tonnes), while fertilisers experienced the opposite development (down 5.3 per cent to 4,214,056 tonnes).
The number of calls by seagoing ships amounted to 14,556, a fall of 4.5 per cent in comparison with the previous year. On the other hand, the number of calls by ultra-large container carriers of more than 10,000 TEUs was up significantly, from 141 in 2011 to 167 in 2012, demonstrating that the port of Antwerp is very definitely reaping the benefits of the deepening of the river Scheldt.