Containerised cargo jumped 16.9% to 70.5m tons, or over half the port’s throughput. The box count also increased, by 15.9% to 6.1m teu. The strongest growing container markets for Antwerp were China, Brazil, Malaysia and the US.
The breakbulk sector performed nearly as well, up 11.7% to almost 15m tons, with imports up by 42.2% and exports down by 14.6%. Steel volume increased 23%, with imports soaring 73.6%, mainly due to trade with China and India. Wood and paper shipments grew by 11%, while fruit cargos fell by 1.6%.
The port’s auto trade grew 7.5% to 705,832 vehicles, reflecting gains for both exports (+9.8%) and imports (+3.5%). The port authority credits Mazda imports from Japan and used auto shipments to West Africa for this year’s gains.
Liquid bulks remained “more or less stable” at 21.2m tons, while dry bulk cargo rose 8.2% to 17.7m tons. Coal imports fell by 6.5%. Ship calls rose 5.5% to 12,416.