Antwerp boxes up 0.4pc, but volume off 4.9pc to 223,799,781 tonnes

CONTAINER traffic through the Port of Antwerp was up 0

13 July 2020 - 19:00
CONTAINER traffic through the Port of Antwerp was up 0.4 per cent year on year to 5,851,001 TEU while total throughput fell 4.9 per cent to 223,799,781 tonnes.

Container traffic increased in the first quarter of the year, but was slowed by cancelled sailings from April - yet overall volume increased in the first half.

The number of calls made by vessels decreased, but this was compensated by a higher average volume per ship and by additional calls on top of the normal sailing schedules.

Notable climbers in this period were the transshipment of pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and health foods. At the beginning of June, the port also welcomed the world's biggest box ship, the 23,964-TEU HMM Algeciras.

First half conventional breakbulk fell 29 per cent year on year. The throughput of iron and steel, the most important freight group within this sector, experienced its best month of 2020 in June but a total decrease of 33.1 per cent for the first six months of the year.

The automotive sector was already struggling in 2019 with the introduction of stricter rules on passenger car emissions in Europe and this trend continued in 2020.

While the transshipment of coal continued to grow in the first quarter, it came to a standstill in the second. This resulted in a 13.1 per cent drop in dry bulk transshipment in January-June 2020 compared to the same period last year.

This decrease is partly attributable to the growing supply of green energy, which reduced the need for coal, partly by reduced demand for coal from the steel sector and partly by a strong second quarter in 2019. Fertilisers, which represent the largest share of dry bulk volumes, grew slightly (+1%) compared to January-June 2019.

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