At Antwerp, a total of 167,372,296 tonnes of cargo were handled in 2006, an increase of 4.6% compared with the 160m tonnes handled in 2005. Container volumes grew twice as fast as the general total, increasing by 500,000 teu or 8.2% to reach 7,018,799 teu. Container trade with other European countries and with North America grew particularly strongly, as did imports from the Far East. The new Deurganck dock handled a total of 810,000 teu.
Total cargo handled at Hamburg increased by 7.3% to set a new record of 135m tonnes. Container traffic was once again the main driver of growth, with a total of 8.8m teu (89.5m tonnes) representing an increase of 9.6% year-on-year. Growth was the strongest for any of the major northern European ports (Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremen), where the average increase was 8.6% for containers and 4.7% for total cargo volumes. Hamburg added 774,000 teu to its 2005 figure to surpass both these levels and increase its market share.
At Marseilles-Fos, total cargo throughput surpassed 100m tonnes for the first time since 1980, hitting 100.7m tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 3.6%. Fos container terminal led the way, recording a 6.8% increase in box volumes to 646,171 teu and tonnage growth of 8.9%. The port’s total container throughput was 941,400 teu, 3.9% more than in 2005. It expects to pass the million mark in 2007.
Seaborne trade at the Port of Vancouver grew 4% to 79.3m tonnes in 2006, and container traffic hit an all-time high of 2.2m teu. The Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) said that much of the increase was down to strong Canadian market volumes and continued high Asian demand for Canadian exports.
The Port of Long Beach, California improved on its cargo-handling record for the fifth year in succession, moving nearly 7.29m teu, an increase of 8.7% from 2005. According to analysts, the cargo surge was driven by continued US demand for Asian-manufactured products and increased vessel capacity supplied by the new generation of 8,000 teu container ships.
In Iran, Tidewater Middle East Marine Services Company recorded another year of impressive growth. Its Shahid Rajee Container Terminal (SRCT) at Bandar Abbas handled 1,410,000 teu, a 9% increase from a year earlier. SRCT welcomed several new direct shipping services in the course of the year, while container volumes moved by rail to and from the terminal increased by 242% to 51,000 teu.