Container volumes handled at the port grew by 18% compared with the first quarter of 2006, rising to 22,707,018 tonnes or 1,955,637 teu (up 17.4% on the corresponding period last year). March was also a record month for containers, with 8,573,717 tonnes (up 24.3%) or 741,255 teu (up 24.9%). Handling activity at the Deurganck container dock expanded rapidly, and volumes were further boosted by congestion and strikes at Rotterdam that diverted dozens of ships to Antwerp.
The volume of conventional/breakbulk freight handled at the port from January to March was 4,988,944 tonnes, an increase of 13.1% year-on-year. Steel volumes rose by 22.6%, driven by imports from Asia, while ro/ro volumes rose by 16.6% to 1,086,669 tonnes, due largely to Stora Enro’s new trade in wood cellulose to GÃ¶teborg. Liquid bulk volumes rose by 12.7%, though dry bulk volumes contracted by 8.1%. The number of cars handled decreased slightly, by 1.3%.
During the first quarter, 4,034 ships called at Antwerp, 6.7% more than in the same period last year. Due to increases in scale, the gross register tonnage rose sharply, by 10.9% to 69.6 million GRT.